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Kaiser Haq
Kaiser Haq
Fellow at School of Oriental and African Studies, 2002/03

Kaiser Haq is a poet, translator and essayist who was educated at the universities of Dhaka (BA Honours, MA) and Warwick (PhD). He is a Professor of English, Dhaka University where he has taught since 1975. He has been a Commonwealth Scholar in the UK and a Senior Fulbright Scholar and Vilas Fellow in the USA.

An undergraduate when the Bangladesh war of independence broke out in 1971, he joined the liberation army and saw combat as a freshly commissioned subaltern in command of a company. For several years Haq was on the panel of judges for the Commonwealth Writers Prize. In 2001, he was a resident at the Hawthornden Castle Writers’ Retreat and the Ledig House Writers Colony in upstate New York. He is a life member of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics (USA) and the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. He has edited the Dhaka University Studies (Journal of the Faculty of Arts), co-edited Form: a Magazine of the Arts, and is on the editorial board of the Six Seasons Review.

Haq’s work has appeared in international journals including London Magazine, The Cambridge Review, Chapman, Acumen, Ariel, Wasafiri and World Literature Written in English. He has published five collections of poetry: Starting Lines (Dhaka 1978), A Little Ado (Dhaka 1978), A Happy Farewell (Dhaka: UPL 1994), Black Orchid (London: Aark Arts 1996), The Logopathic Reviewer’s Song (Dhaka: UPL and London: Aark Arts, 2002). He has edited an anthology, Contemporary Indian Poetry (Ohio State University Press 1990) and translated the Selected Poems of Shamsur Rahman (Dhaka: BRAC 1985); a novel by Rabindranath Tagore, Quartet (Heinemann Asian Writers Series, 1993); and an eighteenth century travel narrative, The Wonders of Vilayet (Leeds: Peepal Tree 2002). He is represented in such anthologies as the Arnold Anthology of Postcolonial Literature in English.

Published Comments
‘Kaiser Haq is a jovial litterateur . . . he also has a macabre sense of humour.’ Khushwant Singh, Sunday.

'Haq writes about the contemporary Bangladeshi scene, exposing life’s little incongruities and ironies . . . His poetry relies on understatement. It combines flashes of insight with a journalistic detailing of objects; it is moving and insightful, but smart and refreshingly witty at the same time.' Syed Manzoorul Islam in The Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Poetry in English.

'Haq captures in a few lines the essentials of a social landscape, whose lineaments are drawn by a deep feeling for place and by a self-conscious relation to the poetic medium . . . Haq can also combine his derisive imagery with moving writing and unforgettable images of his country.' Alamgir Hashmi in The Routledge Encyclopedia of Post-Colonial Literature.