Mir Mahfuz Ali
Mir Mahfuz Ali was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1958, moved to the UK in the 1970s. He has worked as a male model, a tandoori chef and as a dancer and actor. He is renowned for his extraordinary voice: a rich, throaty whisper brought about by a Bangladeshi policeman trying to silence the singing of anthems during a public anti-war demonstration. He has given readings and performances at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and in other theatres in Britain and elsewhere; on BBC Newsnight Review, Radio 4, and the World Service as well as speaking at a number of conferences and festivals, including addressing the Home Office on integration policy. His poetry has appeared in London Magazine, Poetry London, Poetry Review and PN Review. His influences include Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) and Jibananda Das (1899-1954). Mahfuz is an active member of Exiled Writer’s Ink, which is working to promote the creative expression of refugees and of exiled writers and encourage cross-cultural dialogue. Midnight, Dhaka, is his first full collection of poetry.