Shamim Azad

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Shamim Azad
S. azad.jpg
Native name
শামীম আজাদ
BornShamim Azad
(1952-11-11) 11 November 1952 (age 70)
Mymensingh, Dhaka, East Bengal (now Bangladesh)
OccupationPoet, storyteller, writer
LanguageBengali, English
Alma materKumudini College
Dhaka University
Years active1988–present
SpouseSelim Jahan
ParentsAbu Ahmad Mahmud Tarafdar (father)
Anowara Khanom (mother)

Shamim Azad (Bengali: শামীম আজাদ; born 11 November 1952)[1] is a Bangladeshi-born British bilingual poet, storyteller and writer.

Early life[edit]

Azad was born in Mymensingh, Dhaka, East Bengal (now Bangladesh) (the town where her father worked), her hometown was Sylhet. She passed her SSC from Jamalpur Girls High School in 1967 and passed her Intermediate from Tangail Kumudini College in 1969. She enrolled in Dhaka University and gained an Honours degree in 1972 and a master's degree in 1973.[2]

In 1990, Azad came to England.[3]


Azad's work ranges from Bangladeshi to European folktales. Her performance fuses the lines between education and entertainment and her workshops are rooted in Asian folk, oral traditions and heritage.[4]

Azad has published 37 books[5] including novels, collections of short stories, essays and poems in both English and Bengali and has been included in various anthologies including British South Asian Poetry, My Birth Was Not in Vain, Velocity, Emlit Project and Mother Tongues. She wrote two plays for Half Moon Theatre.[6] She has worked with composers Richard Blackford, Kerry Andrew, choreographer Rosemary Lee, visual artist Robin Whitemore and playwright Mary Cooper.[5]

She has performed at venues including the Museum of London, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Cambridge Water Stone, Liberty Radio, Battersea Arts Centre, Lauderdale House, the Commonwealth Institute, British Library, British Council of Bangladesh, Takshila in Pakistan and New York.[7] Her residencies have included, Tower Hamlets Summer University, Sunderland City Library and Arts Centre, East Side Arts, Poetry Society, Magic Me, Rich Mix, Kinetika, Bromley by Bow Centre, Half Moon Theatre, and Apples and Snakes.[5]

Azad is a trustee of Rich Mix in Bethnal Green, founder chair of Bishwo Shahitto Kendro (World Literature Centre UK) in London.[7] She is part of the East storytelling group, which invites local residents to join in sharing some of the stories brought together by the Eastend's rich, diverse history of immigration.[8]


Azad received the Bangladesh "Bichitra Award" in 1994, "Year of the Artist" Award from London Arts in 2000, "Sonjojon- A Rouf" Award in 2004, and UK "Civic Award" in 2004. Community Champions Award in 2014 by Canary Wharf group PLC.[7] In 2016, she was awarded "Syed Waliullah Literature Award"2016, which is conferred by the Bangla Academy.

Personal life[edit]

Azad lives in Wanstead, Redbridge, London.[9]


Novel and stories[edit]

Year Title
1988 Shirno Shuktara
1989 Dui Romonir Moddhoshomoy
1991 Arekjon
2003 Shamim Azader Golpo Shonkolon
2009 A Vocal Chorus
2012 Priongboda
2018 Bongshobeej


Year Title
1983 Valobashar Kobita
1984 Sporsher Opekkha
1988 He Jubok Tomar Vobisshot
2007 Om
2008 Jiol Jokhom
2010 Jonmandho Jupiter
2011 Shamim Azader Prem Opremer 100 Kobita

Children's literature and drama[edit]

Year Title
1992 Hopscotch Ghost (with Mary Cooper)
1994 The Raft
2000 The Life of Mr. Aziz
2012 Boogly The Burgundy Cheetah

Poetry collections and translations[edit]

Year Title
1998 British South Asian Poetry
2001 My Birth Was Not in Vain
2003 Velocity (25 Bochorer Bileter Kobita)
2008 The Majestic Night

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "World Literature Centre, London". 11 November 2011. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2012. Upcoming Events
  2. ^ "Shamim Azad's birthday to be celebrated in Dhaka". banglanews24. 22 February 2012. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Biographical notes – The Poets". Poetry Magazines. 2001. pp. 293–305. Retrieved 23 January 2012. Shamim Azad
  4. ^ "Poetry and Translation". London: The Poetry Society. Retrieved 23 September 2011. The Poets: Shamim Azad
  5. ^ a b c Karim, Mohammed Abdul; Karim, Shahadoth (October 2013). British Bangladeshi Who's Who (PDF). British Bangla Media Group. p. 62. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  6. ^ Karim, Mohammed Abdul; Karim, Shahadoth (October 2009). British Bangladeshi Who's Who (PDF). British Bangla Media Group. p. 33. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  7. ^ a b c Mahboob, Mahdin (12 August 2007). "Creative Writing Workshop @ BRAC University by Shamim Azad". The Daily Star. Retrieved 24 September 2011. Volume 2, Issue 31
  8. ^ "East". BBC Asian Network. 16 November 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Shamim Azad – Artists directory". Tower Hamlets Arts & Entertainment. Retrieved 1 May 2012.

External links[edit]