Hassanal Abdullah

Poet, novelist, critic, translator, song writer and the editor of Shabdaguchha

Hassanal Abdullah
DOB: 14 April, 1967
Published: 36 Books

Hassanal Abdullah, a poet, novelist, critic, translator and the editor of the International Bilingual Poetry Journal, Shabdaguchha, is the sonnet form innovator: seven-line stanza and abcdabc efgdefg rhyming scheme. He also wrote a 314-page epic on the Universe and how life is connected to it as a whole. He frequently used almost all the major scientific theories and evolutionary understanding in completing the epic.

Early Life

Though he was born in Gopalgonj, Bangladesh, he spent the first three years of his very early life in Khulna, where his father, Nawsher Ali Miah, was a business man. Since he was killed in 1971, during the war between Bangladesh and Pakistan which liberated Bangladesh after nine months of bloodshed and 3 million casualties, Abdullah’s mother had to move to her father’s village in order to survive with three children: Abdullah and two daughters.
Hassanal went to the village High School and graduated from there with distinctive result. There, he also penned his very first poem, when he was in 8th grade with the influence of his house tutor. In the village, he also experienced farming, fishing, home building, plowing and all sorts of rural dueling that reflected his writing in the later age.

Life as a Writer

As a student of Rajandra College, in the City of Faridpur, Bangladesh, he continued his writing, which has later flourished while studying at the University of Dhaka. He is the author of 36 books including 16 collections of poetry and Breath of Bengal (CCC 2000), Under the Thin Layers of Lights (CCC 2015), and Swatantra Sonnets: A Bilingual Edition (Feral Press and CCC, 2017), published from New York. Shabdaguchha, an International Bilingual Poetry Magazine, founded and edited by Hassanal Abdullah since 1998. He was a 2007 honorable mention of the Queens Borough, New York, Poet Laureate. On May 4, 2007, in a citation given to the poet, the Queens Borough President, honorable Helen Marshall, wrote, "As a prolific poet and editor of the English Bengali Quarterly, Shabdaguchha, you have built a solid bridge between poets from East and West, here in the most multi-ethnic county of the world." While in Dhaka, he was involved with Khalaghor, Fulkuri, Shaplakuri and started contributing to the supplements of the Daily Shangbad, Daily Bangalar Bani, Daily Khabor and magazines like Shisu, Fulkuri etc. At this time he also founded a literary organization, Latapata. First of all, it was started for the children of the village he was from, and then it got some ground in the capital of the country. He also founded a library for the villagers.
Later he started contributing to the literary supplements of some renowned Daily's such as Daily Ittafaq, Daily Jugantor, Daily Banglar Bani, Daily Dinkal, Daily Bhorar Kagoj, Daily Ajker Kagoj etc.
Hassanal Abdullah immigrated to the United States in 1990. He kept on contributing to the supplements he already contributed while living in Dhaka as well as some of the magazines such as Jignasa and Desh published from Kolkata. He translated numbers of Bengali poets including Ahsan Habib, Shamsur Rahman, Al Mahmud, Shaheed Quaderi and Humayun Azad into English, and some American poets such as Stanley Kunitz and Gerald Stern into Bengali. He also translated many International figures such as Charles Baudelaire, Nâzım Hikmet, Tomas Tranströmer, Nicanor Parra, Wislawa Szymborska into Bengali, and publish them into a book by the title Biswha Kobitar Koyed Chhatra, the literal translation of which would be “A Synopsis of World Poetry” (Shaitta Bikash, 2008). He also contributed to some poetry magazines in the United States and around the world, such as LIPS, Paterson Literary Review, Poetrybay, Medicinal Purposes Literary Review, Asbestos, and Long Island Sound, The Seventh Quarry (UK) , Krytyka Literacka (Poland) and Immagine & Poesia (Italy) and Poetry Journal (Vietnam), Chandrabhaga (India) etc. Hassanal has participated in various readings in the NYC area, including Barns and Noble bookstores, as a Feature Poet. "Abdullah at once manages to maintain a Romantic confidence in the imagination, a modernist irony as to the imagination's limits, and a postmodern sense of the imagination as a construct" said Nicholas Birns, a professor of English at NYU. Also, it has been noted by Jyotirmoy Datta, highly notable critic of Bengali Poetry, that "Hassanal Abdullah is the new spark from the soil of Bengal." Later, Mr. Datta, who is now a part-time Professor at Rutgers University, wrote, “Hassanal Abdullah is a phenomenon. Among today’s writers from Bengal, he is perhaps unique in his ability to cross geographical, linguistic and literary borders. He does so with the ease of a petrel crossing storm-tossed seas. With awesome speed, he masters literary genres as far a part as the sonnet and the epic.”
Mr. Abdullah participated in many reading in the tri-state area as a feature poet, including such venues like Barnes and Nobles, Borders Books and Lincoln Center Outdoor Events etc. He was nominated for the 2008 Pushcart Prize. In 2016 The Seventh Quarry, a Welsh based poetry magazine published an interview of Hassanal Abdullah with his sonnet translation.

In 2016, at the International Silk Road Poetry Festival in the Szechuan Province, China, he was awarded the Homer European Medal of Poetry & Art. He also received the Labubhai Foundation Award in 2013 for the sonnet form innovation.



1.Acobinsho Shatabdir Agay (একবিংশ শতাব্দীর আগে-Before the 21St Century), Lata-Pata Prokashani, Dhaka, 1993
2. Golaper Nam Tumi (গোলাপের নাম তুমি-Rose as You are), Dhaka Prokason, Dhaka, 1994
3. Shakunara Bhalo Achha (শকুনেরা ভালো আছে-Vultures are Well), Agamee Prokashoni, Dhaka, 1996
4. Sonnetguchha O Onnaya Kobita (সনেটগুচ্ছ ও অন্যান্য কবিতা-Sonnets and Other Poems), Preeti Prokason, Dhaka, 1996
5. Swatantra Sonnet (স্বতন্ত্র সনেট-Swatantra Sonnets), Bisaka Prokashoni, Dhaka, 1998/Shabdaguchha Press, 2nd ed. 2004, 3rd ed. 2014
6.Andherer Saman Bayas (আঁধারের সমান বয়স-Old as Darkness), Bud Publications, Dhaka, 2002
7.Nokkhotro O Manusher Procchod (নক্ষত্র ও মানুষের প্রচ্ছদ-The Faces of Human Beings and Stars), Anayna Prokashoni, Dhaka, 2007: 2nd Edition, 2017
8.Bori Gachha Chori Nacha (বরই গাছে চড়ুই নাচে-A Sparaw Dances on a Broi Branch), Shahittya Bikash, Dhaka, 2008
9.Ek Posla Somoy (এক পশলা সময়-A Glimse of Time), Shahittya Bikash, Dhaka, 2009
10.Kobitay BangaBondhu (কবিতায় বঙ্গবন্ধু), Shabdaguchha Press, Dhaka-NY, 2000, 2nd edition, 2010
11. Shit Shukano Rod (শীত শুকানো রোদ), Ananya, Dhaka, 2013
12. Cafer Kobita (ক্যাফের কবিতা-Caffe’s Poetry), Shahittya Bikash, Dhaka, 2012
13.Nirbachito Kobita (নির্বাচিত কবিতা-Selected Poems), 2nd edision, Anayna, Dhaka, 2014
14. Nirbachito Ekshow Kobita (নির্বাচিত ১০০ কবিতা-100 Selected Poems), Anaya Prokash, Dhaka, 2016
15. Britter Kengryo Kobiter Mukh (বৃত্তের কেন্দ্রেও কবিতার মুখ), Anupranon Publication, Dhaka, 2016
16. Chhara Mohashoya, (ছড়া মহাশয়) Ananya, Dhaka, 2011
Collections of Essays:

17.Kobiter Chhando (কবিতার ছন্দ-Rhythms of Poetry), Bangla Academy, Dhaka, 1997: 2nd edition, Mowla Brothers, Dhaka, 2011
18.Kobiter Janmodag (কবিতার জন্মদাগ-The Birth Mark of Poetry), Mowla Brothers, Dhaka, 2008
19.Shaheed Quaderi: Somoyer Sampanna Swar (শহীদ কাদরী: সময়ের সম্পন্ন স্বর-Shaheed Quaderi:The Perfect Voice of Time), Labu Bhai Foundation, Dhaka & New York, 2005
20.Humayun Azad: Raktakto Kobir Mukh (হুমায়ুন আজাদ: রক্তাক্ত কবির মুখ-Humayun Azad: A poet's Face in Blood), Shahittya Bikash, Dhaka, 2007
21. Nari O Kobitar KachhaKachhi, (নারী ও কবিতার কাছাকাছি), Anayna, Dhaka, 2012
22. Aytijja O Bakti Prothiva (ঐতিহ্য ও ব্যক্তি প্রতিভা), Shabdagsoili Publisher, Dhaka, 2016

23. Ahoto Mukul (আহত মুকুল-Wounded Buds), Agamee Prokashoni, Dhaka, 1995
24. Dahor (ডহর), Hatakhori Publisher, Dhaka, 2014
Short Stories:

25. Saytaner Panch Pa (শয়তানের পাঁচ পা-Satan’s Five Legs), Published by Anayna, Dhaka, 2015
Translated from English:

26. Biswha Kobitar Koyed Chhatra (বিশ্ব কবিতার কয়েক ছত্র-A Synopsis of World Poetry), Shahittya Bikash, Dhaka, 2008

27.Boimelay Etdin (বইমেলায় আটদিন-Eight Days in the Book Fair), Anayna Prokashoni, Dhaka, 2009

28. Adhomukh (অধোমুখ), Puthiniloy Publisher, Dhaka, 2016
Edited Anthology:

29. Markin Dasher Bangla Kobita,(মার্কিন দেশের বাংলা কবিতা) Agamee Prokashoni, Dhaka, 2006
30. Bishsothokar Bangla Kobita (বিশশতকের বাংলা কবিতা), Mowla Brothers, Dhaka, 2015

31. Nirbachito Gitikobita (নির্বাচিত গীতিকবিতা-Selected Lyrics) Anayna, Dhaka, 2016
Translated Poetry collections of the Poet:

32. Breath of Bengal, Translated by Nazrul Islam Naz, Cross-cultural Communications, New York, 2000
33. Under the Thin Layers of Lights, Translated by Jyotirmoy Datta, Purnima Ray and others, Cross-Cultural Communications, 2015
34. Swatantra Sonnets: A Bilingual Edition, Feral Press and Cross-Cultural Communications, New York, 2017
Collections that the Poet Translated:

35. Selected Poems of Humayun Azad, translated by Hassanal Abdullah, Bivas Publisher, Dhaka, 2014
36. Hollowness on the Horizon, by Naznin Seamon, Translated by Hassanal Abdullah, Feral Press, NY, 2016


1. Official Website
2.VOA Interview I
3. VOA Interview II
4. TV interview
5.Google Search

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