About

Shazea Quraishi

Shazea Quraishi

Poet

Shazea Quraishi was born in Pakistan, grew up in Canada and lived in Madrid before moving to London where she works as a writer, teacher and translator. Her poems have been published in anthologies and magazines in the UK and the US.  She is working on her first collection.

The Courtesan’s Reply is a sequence of original poems written in response to M Ghosh’s translation from the Sanskrit of the Caturbhani, four monologue plays written around 300 BC on the life of courtesans in India.

Shazea says "In the original plays, a narrator walks through the courtesans’ quarter, commenting on the women he meets and engaging them in a one-sided conversation. I enjoyed the sensuality, charm and formality of Ghosh’s prose immensely, but more than that, I was captivated by the courtesans glimpsed through the filter of the narrator. I wanted to respond to that work, and provide a counterpoint to the male voice and the male gaze.  My poems are in the voices of the courtesans mentioned and glimpsed briefly in the original plays. My intention was to give them a voice, and although I began by staying loyal to Ghosh’s translation, I found that the courtesans wanted to say ‘no, it was not like that, it was like this.’

- photo by Amarjit Chandan of Shazea Quraishi reading for MPT at the LRB Bookshop May 2010

Poems & translations

Denotes poem / translation featured on website

reviews & features

- No reviews or features published in MPT -

Go Digital

Subscribe to the digital edition of MPT for access to all back issues and to the Exactly app. » View free trial issue

Contributor and student discounts

If you are a student, or if you contribute to MPT you are eligible for a great discount deal when you subscribe… » Subscribe now

Back to top
Supported by Arts Council England

Copyright © Modern Poetry in Translation and contributors
Website design ashbydesign
Developed by Code Frontiers
Powered by Storemill