Usman ALI (playwright; Pakistan) researches physical and non-verbal theater, and is the founder of Ali's Theatre at the Mandibhauddin campus of the University of Sargodha. His English-language plays The Prisoners, The Guilt, The Last Metaphor, The Odyssey, The Breath, and The Flute have been published and performed in Pakistan, with three upcoming runs at the Royal Court Theatre in London. In 2014 he received he Taufiq Rafat Prize for Drama.
Ramsha ASHRAF (poet, playwright; Pakistan) has a collection of poetry, Enmeshed (2015), publishes poems on her blog Escritura 415 and elsewhere, and contributes to literary magazines. At the Foundation University’s Rawalpindi campus she teaches writing courses, develops arts curricula and produces visual media. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Harris KHALIQUE (poet, nonfiction writer; Pakistan) is the author of eight poetry collections, including Between You and Your Love (2004), Ishq ki taqveem mein (2006) and Melay mein (2012), which won the 2013 UBL Literary Excellence Award for Urdu poetry. His poems have been anthologized internationally. A campaigner for workers’, women’s, and minority rights in Pakistan and abroad, he contributes regularly to national and international news publications.
Shandana MINHAS (fiction writer; Pakistan) has been a columnist, a teacher, an actor, a screenwriter, a playwright, and more. Her novel Tunnel Vision (2007) was nominated for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book; a second title Survival Tips For Lunatics, for young readers, will be published in 2014. Minhas is currently working on a collection of short stories and another novel. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Bilal TANWEER (fiction writer, poet, translator; Pakistan) teaches creative writing at Lahore University of Management Sciences. His short stories, essays, and poetry have been published by Granta,Critical Muslim, Life’s Too Short Literary Review: New Writing From Pakistan, Vallum, Dawn, The Express Tribune, The News on Sunday, and The Caravan (India); his translations from the Urdu have appeared in Words Without Borders and The Annual of Urdu Studies.
Azeem SAJJAD is a writer, director, and producer for television. His screenplays include [‘A Short Life’], [‘The Third Man’], and [‘The Reunion’] among others. Sajjad has also written, developed storyboards for, and directed many TV commercials, and maintains an acting career. His participation is provided courtesy of the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar.
Bina SHAH (novelist, fiction writer; Pakistan) is a Karachi-based journalist and fiction writer, and has taught writing at the university level. She is the author of two short story collections, Animal Medicine (1999) and Blessings (2007), and four novels: Where They Dream in Blue (2001), The 786 Cybercafe (2004), Slum Child (2009), and A Season For Martyrs (2010). Her work has been translated into Urdu, Spanish, and Italian.
H. M. NAQVI has had his debut novel Home Boy published by Random House in 2009. He has taught creative writing at Boston University and Georgetown University, worked as a banker, and ran a spoken-word venue. He has written for Forbes and the Global Post, and his poems have been broadcast on BBC and NPR. A recipient of the Phelam Prize and a Lannan Fellowship, he now resides in Karachi His participation is provided courtesy of the U.S. Consulate in Karachi.
On 5/24/20, the US Embassy in Moscow celebrated Joseph Brodsky's 80th birthday with a collage of American poets reading his birthday poem "May 24, 1980" in the poet's self-translation. Chris Merrill, one of Brodsky's students, is among the readers.