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Interview with Aminur Rahman

AMINUR RAHMAN was born in Dhaka and graduated with an M-PHAR[acy] degree. At present he is considered to be one of the most well-known poets in abroad from Bangladesh. He has published seven collections of poems in Bangla. His work has been translated in more than twenty-five languages and has poetry books in English (5), Spanish (4), German, Japanese, Mongolian, Arabic, Chinese, Bahasa Malay, Russian, Assamese, Serbian and French. He is a renowned writer and art critic and has three prose books in his credit. As an accomplished translator he has translated thirteen books of poetry and edited few poetry magazines and books including, The Dhaka Review, SAARC Anthology of poems and short stories etc. As an invited author, Aminur Rahman has read his work world-wide at various international arts & literary festivals, universities and cultural venues. He has represented Bangladesh in the Poetry Festival in Colombia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Austria, India, Iraq, Japan, Sri Lanka, Spain, Egypt, Nicaragua etc. He was Awarded Chinggish Khaan Gold Medal (2006), Heaven Horse Award (2015) in Mongolia, Numera World Award of Letters (2016) in Malaysia, Contribution Award for International Poetry (2016) in Taiwan, Poet Dinesh Das Award (2019) in India, Menada Award (2019) in Macedonia, Bangla Academy Award (2021) Bangladesh, Golden Knight Award (2022) in Russia, IMLF Award (2023) in Indonesia

  1. What is Poetry to you?

What is Poetry? I am giving quotes from few famous poets of the world:  Colridge says Poetry is the best word in best order. Paul Valerie says The first line of a poem comes from heaven you have to write the rest. Wordsworth says Emotion recollected in tranquility. Keats says A poem should come as a leaf to a tree, if it does not, it is better it does not come at all. I like all of them..


  1. When did you begin writing poetry? Talk about your journey on writing poetry.

I started writing poetry at a very young age, my first travel prose was published in a newspaper at the age of thirteen, and at the age of fifteen I published my first literary magazine as an Editor. When I was only four years I turned up half an hour before school to see a famous poet who was my friend’s father, which is surprising to think now.

From the age of fifteen I came in close proximity to all the famous poets of the country. From the age of nineteen I had the opportunity to associate with the world’s most famous poets. I really had nothing on my mind except literature. My first book of poetry was published at the age of twenty-two.   I am really lucky to have this little life which is full off experiences.


  1. You are a Pharmacist too, how does your profession as a pharmacist affect on your poetry?

It is true I have studied Pharmacy and did my M-Pharm degree with good results. I am doing work in a multinational company for many years as Country Director. Yes, I have not studied literature in any Institute but I am reading literature from my childhood and writing poetry since my school days. I can claim that have read more literature books than any ordinary literature student.

It is completely personal, what you want to do. Science or Pharmacy I read with interest and at the same time I am fascinated by reading literature too. This job of mine is what keeps me alive because of studying pharmacy. It never stood in the way. Rather helped me a lot. I am giving you an example: My first longest tour for poetry was in 25 years back in Medellin Poetry Festival in Colombia. It was impossible to do it at that time if my profession would not help me. My senior in regional office (real kind person) had put an office meeting in USA and I could easily travel to Medellin,

It is very difficult to survive by doing literary work, only few people can do it. Survive by just writing poetry, it is impossible in any parts of this world. Yes, it is possible to write Novels.

I believe any job other than literary field is detrimental to literary practice.


  1. Who are the poets that you are influenced by?

Influence is not the right word. If you ask me Inspired by then I can tell you a long list…

In my childhood I was inspired by the Bengali Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam in Bangla literature. Both of them had created an enormous world of creativity in poetry as well as stories, novels, prose and memorable songs. Their total more than six thousand songs are memorable and till now they are very much contemporary. There is no hesitation in saying that poet Jibanananda Das, Budhhadev Basu and Sudindranath Dutta were among the poets of the thirties and I was inspired by the poetry of them throughout my youth. Jibanananda Das was arguably the most important Bengali poet after Rabindranath Tagore, undoubtedly one of the leading modern poets of Bengal, and certainly one of the greatest Bengali poets of all times.

Surely, one of the main classic French poet Charles Baudelaire had a solid influence on me like many of us. At the same also like Rainer Maria Rilke, Federico Garcia Lorca, Kahlil Gibran, Alexander Pushkin Inspired me. Interestingly None of the them wrote in English, so those who are wring in Arabic or any other language should not be hesitant to write in their mother tongue. It is true good English translations is needed to spread out all over the world.

I don’t know how many people will agree here that NOW Poetry belongs to Latin America, Poetry belongs to Asia, Poetry belongs to Arab and certain extent in Africa too. Poetry is no more belongs to Europe or North America! I will not go on debate today, dear friends, when you will go back to your home just think about it! I am sure you will get your answer!!

The thousands of year history of Persian literature now unveiling to the world, In North America now one of the bestselling book is Jalaluddin Rumi. It is obvious Rumi Inspired me a lot.


We know few of Arab poets Nazim Hikmet, Mahmoud Darwish, Al Mutanabbi, Adunis, others are unknown and explored. I want to mention one great poets name in Arab poetry: Mohammad Afifi. Inspired me.


  1. What are your future plans on poetry? Do you think about writing another literary genre like novel

I want to continue doing what I have been doing for so long.

I have a poetry initiative, Poetry Cottage which I build for poets and poetry during the pandemic time on the banks of the river in the green of the village of Bangladesh. I want to keep it better. My dearest friend is not as much as she was with me in the beginning and is moving slowly. My dream is to make it as a center point of poetry in South Asia.

I have been trying to write a novel for a long time. The poet’s novel. It is very much autobiographical. It is very difficult to write, a lot of references needed. I don’t know if I can complete it or not. It is the first and it will be the last. I never wanted to be a novelist. I only want to live as a poet.

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