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Recently, Lahore based poet, editor and columnist, Afshan Shafi launched her first full length poetry collection, Quiet Women, to critical acclaim. It is a unique all female collaboration featuring the illustrations of internationally recognized artists, Samya Arif (Pakistan), Marjan Baniasadi (Iran) and Ishita Basu Mallik (India).
Shafi studied English Literature and International Relations at The University of Buckingham and Webster Graduate School London. Her poems have been published in various local and international publications. Her debut chapbook of poems, Odd Circles was published in 2014. Poet and founder of the European Poetry Festival, Steven J Fowler, has called Shafi ‘a poet to watch, to follow, of her time, of the world’
She has previously served as a poetry editor for The Missing Slate. She is currently a senior contributing editor at Pakistan’s leading literary journal the Aleph Review, and serves as an editor-in-chief for the online Pandemonium Journal, which is a platform for emerging creatives from Pakistan and abroad. She is also a books columnist for LibasNow.
For Rava, Shafi lists her foremost writerly influences from the world of poetry!
From the poem ‘Covered’ by Afshan Shafi
I adjust several soft imperative mantles’
all day over the ears and clavicle
doubtful each time
The sun is gentle, embarrassed
by my cohesion
I hope for happy darknesses,
my gaze, impervious,
like a coin in water
when I see myself in a dream,
my eyes are of a proper wilderness,
with words to breathe,
lush scarlet admonitions
I watch myself to the center of
a black plot
It’s a blur
I’m a blur
I’m a blue word,