Virtual Seattle Writes: An Ancient Music – Writing with South Asian Ghazals

September 19, 2020 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Online (see listing)

Explore the ghazal form of poetry through select readings and writing prompts with Shankar Narayan. Registration required. Click here to register.

Ghazals in South Asia are one of the most popular forms of poetry anywhere. While there has been much analysis of the ghazal’s evolution in English, how the ghazal works as popular art is less accessible to western writers. This class aims to give participants a flavor of that space. In this multi-genre, part-generative, part-analytical class, we’ll listen to versions of ghazals in Urdu, read translations, consider what makes a good ghazal work, and use all that to create our own burning, yearning works. No prior knowledge required — but come ready to engage and to write!

Shankar Narayan explores identity, power, mythology, and technology in a world where the body is flung across borders yet possesses unrivaled power to transcend them. Shankar is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee and has received awards and fellowships from Kundiman, Hugo House, Jack Straw, Flyway, River Heron, and others. He is a 4Culture grant recipient for Claiming Space, a project to lift the voices of writers of color, and his chapbook, Postcards From the New World, won the Paper Nautilus Debut Series chapbook prize. Shankar draws strength from his global upbringing and from his work at the intersection of technology and civil rights. In Seattle, he awakens to the wonders of Cascadia every day, but his heart yearns east to his other hometown, Delhi. Connect with him at

We can provide accommodations for people with disabilities at Library events. Please contact at least seven days before the event to request accommodations.

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