Khondakar Ashraf Hossain

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Khondakar Ashraf Hossain
Portrait of a man standing in font of bookshelf
Khondakar Ashraf Hossain
Born (1950-01-04)4 January 1950
Joynagar, Jamalpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Died 16 June 2013(2013-06-16) (aged 63)[1]
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Resting place Dhaka, Bangladesh
Occupation Poet, Editor, Professor
Language Bengali, English
Nationality Bangladeshi
Ethnicity Bengali
Citizenship Bangladeshi
Education MA (Linguistics and ELT)
MA (English)
PhD (English)
Alma mater University of Dhaka

Khondakar Ashraf Hossain (Bengali: খোন্দকার আশরাফ হোসেন; 4 January 1950 – 16 June 2013) was a leading poet,[2][3] essayist, translator, and editor from Bangladesh. He wrote more than eighteen titles.

Professional and literary life[edit]

Hossain was born in Joynagar village in Jamalpur Sadar Upazila, Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 1950. He earned a BA degree in 1970 and an MA degree in 1971, both are in English and from the University of Dhaka; and MAs in Linguistics and ELT from the University of Leeds in 1981. He also obtained a PhD in English from the University of Dhaka and a postgraduate diploma in Teaching English Overseas from the University of Leeds in 1980.[4] His doctoral thesis is entitled Modernism and Beyond: Western Influence on Bangladeshi Poetry.[5] Dr. Hossain was a professor and chairman of the Department of English at the University of Dhaka.[6] In his decades-long teaching career, he was immensely popular among his students for his unique lectures delivered with ready wit and remarkable quips.[7] He has published a number of collections of poetry and of essays in Bengali and English. About the readership of poetry, he says:

I am not at all concerned with the number of readers of poetry.[8]

Dr. Hossain translates from Bengali to English and from German and English to Bengali. His poems have been translated into English, German, French, Telegu and Hindi.[9] Dr. Hossain edits and publishes a literary magazine: Ekobingsho (English: The Twenty-First)[10][11] which was founded by Hossain himself in 1985 with its main focus on the new poetry of Bangladesh. In May 2013 Hossain was appointed as the third vice-chancellor of Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University.[12]

Theatrical Work[edit]

Khondakar Ashraf Hossain patronized a drama group called Nagorik since the seventies. Nagorik is one of Bangladesh's leading theatrical groups, for which Hossein served as both president and dramatist.[13]

Critical reception[edit]

Dr. Hossain receiving honorary crest at 18th years celebration of Somujjol Subatas

Hossain wrote a wide variety of poems in lucid language and with innovative and suggestive imagery.[14] Expressiveness and eloquence in his poetry came from his successful, spontaneous combination of national and world heritage and mythology with his personal experience and feelings.[15] Though he began to write when postmodernism was blooming fast in the west, he denies to identify himself as an avowed post-modernist.[16] In his book On Behula's Raft's launch ceremony, he said about himself that "my soul is nourished by the alluvial soil and the moistures of riverine Bangladesh, which is my Behula".[17] Fakrul Alam considered his poems "humorous and witty" in some cases.[17] Syed Manzoorul Islam opined that Hossain at his initial stage was a romantic poet, but is now a realistic poet, as he is writing in a very self-conscious way.[17] His love poems are characterised by stark realism rather than by romantic euphoria.[14] Anisuzzaman deemed his poetry as the socio-political representation of Bangladesh.[17] He explored not only the contemporary social and political condition of his country but also "the grounds of existential philosophy in conceiving human life as fragile yet undying, as self-destructive yet eternal".[14] Dr. Hossain's poetry is noted for its engagement with philosophical concerns. For having some drishtantoist poems, he would be important in Bengali poetry.[18]


Khondakar Ashraf Hossain, died of a heart attack in Lab-aid hospital in the capital at 12 noon[19] on 16 June 2013. He was undergoing treatment at Labaid Hospital, Dhaka since 14 June due to health complications. He suffered a major heart attack at 8:30 am and died around 11:00 am on 16 June.[20] The ailing professor was being treated when he died at the age of 63.[21]


  • Alaol Literary Prize (1987) (for poetry)
  • West Bengal Little Magazine Award (1998) (for editing)[9]
  • Jibananda Puraskar[22]



  • Tin Ramanir Qasida
  • Partho Tomar Teebro Teer
  • Jibaner Saman Chumuk
  • Sundari o Ghrinar Ghungur
  • Jamuna Parba
  • Janmo Baul
  • Tomar Namey Brishti Namey
  • Aiona Dekhey Andha Manush


  • Nirbachito Kabita'
  • Kabita Samgraha
  • On Behula's Raft

Collections of essays[edit]

  • Bangladesher Kabita: Antaranga Abalokan (A Study on Bangladeshi Poetry)
  • Chirayata Puraan (Classical Mythology)
  • Kabitar Antarjami
  • Adhunik Uttaradhunik o Annyanya
  • Prasango (Bengali Poetry in the contexts of Modernism, postmodernism and other trends)
  • Bishwakabitar Sonali Shasya (Gleanings from World Poetry)
  • Modernism and Beyond: Western Influences on Bangladeshi poetry


  • Romantic and Modern: Latitudes and Longitudes of Poetry



  • The Dhaka University Studies (Journal of the Faculty of Arts), Editor
  • Ekobingsho (a poetry magazine), Editor
  • Selected Poems of Nirmalendu Goon (Edited, with an introduction)
  • The Bangla Academy English–Bengali Dictionary (Co-edited, with a note on pronunciation)
  • An English Anthology (Co-edited, published by Department of English, Dhaka University)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Khondakar Ashraf no more". 4 January 1950. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  2. ^ Ahmed, Mohiuddin (2002). Six Seasons Review (vol. 2, Number 3&4). University Press Limited. ISBN 978-984-05-1652-0. 
  3. ^ "Anti-India forces involved in mutiny: Bangladesh author". The Times of India. 14 March 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  4. ^ Khondakar Ashraf Hossain, Department of English, University of Dhaka
  5. ^ Khondakar Ashraf Hossain, UPL books
  6. ^ "Khondakar Ashraf Hossain". Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  7. ^ "Khondakar Ashraf Hossain". The Daily Star. 19 April 2014. Retrieved 2016-11-03. 
  8. ^ Imran, Nadee Naboneeta (27 September 2012). "Khondakar Ashraf Hossain". New Age. Dhaka. 
  9. ^ a b "Khondakar Ashraf Hossain | The University Press Limited". Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  10. ^ Arif, Hakim (2012). "Poetry". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. 
  11. ^ একবিংশ (21 March 2013). "একবিংশ". Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  12. ^ "New VC at JKKNIU". The Independent. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  13. ^ 104. Padma Meghna Jamuna - 207 208 - PADMA MEGHNA
  14. ^ a b c "A poetic soul nourished by geography". The Daily Star. 29 March 2008. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  15. ^ Selina Hossain, Nurul Islam and Mobarak Hossain, ed. (2000). Bangla Academy Dictionary of Writers. Dhaka: Bangla Academy. p. 99. ISBN 984-07-4052-0. 
  16. ^ Mukul, Akramuzzaman; Shoma, Nasima (27 April 2012). "A Conversation with Poet Khondakar Ashraf Hossain". The Independent. Dhaka. Archived from the original on 3 May 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  17. ^ a b c d "On Behula's Raft launched". The Independent. Dhaka. 18 February 2008. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  18. ^ "খোন্দকার আশরাফ হোসেন একজন দর্শনসচেতন সাহিত্যিক". Alokito Bangla. 17 June 2013. 
  19. ^ "Prof. Ashraf Hossain passes away". The Independent. Dhaka. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  20. ^ "Prof Khondakar Ashraf Hossain passes away". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  21. ^ "Professor Khondakar Ashraf Hossain dies". Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  22. ^ "New VC at JKKNIU". The Independent. Dhaka. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 

External links[edit]