Hassanal Abdullah
Hassanal Abdullah
A poet, novelist, essayist, critic, translator and the editor of Shabdaguchha



About Hassanal Abdullah

Hassanal Abdullah, poet, novelist, critic, translator and the author of 51 books including 16 collections of poetry, was born in a village of Gopalgonj, Bangladesh. From the beginning of his writing career, he established his own tone and voice. He has introduced sonnets with rhyming scheme abcdabc efgdefg and seven lines stanza pattern. He calls them Swatantra Sonnets, the third edition of the book with the same title was published in 2014 with 203 Sonnets. He also published two novels, and a textbook on Bengali rhetoric and prosody, Kobitar Chhanda, (Bangla Academy, 1997), which has got it's 3rd edition published in 2018 by Mowla Brothers. All of these were written in Bengali and published from Dhaka, except four translated collections of his poetry, Breath of Bengal(ccc, 2000), Under the Thin Layers of Lights(ccc,2015), Swatantra Sonnets (Feral Press and ccc, 2017), and Tension in Entangled Kites (New Feral Press, 2022). Hassanal is the editor of an International bilingual (Bengali-English) poetry journal, Shabdaguchha, which is also available on the web: http://www.shabdaguchha.com. He regularly contributes to the major newspapers and journals published from Dhaka and Kolkota. He also contributed to some poetry magazines in the United States, 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) etc. Hassanal has also participated in various readings in the NYC area, including Barns and Noble bookstores, as a Feature Poet.

A 304-page epic, Nakhatra O Manusar prochhed (নক্ষত্র ও মানুষের প্রচ্ছদ), (Anayna, 2007) is written on the universe and life in it. His Selected Poems: 1990-2010 was published in Dhaka February Book Fair by Anayan Prokashoni in 2010.

He translated Charles Baudelaire, Stanley Kunitz, Nâzım Hikmet, Tomas Tranströmer, Nicanor Parra, Wislawa Szymborska and Gerald Stern into Bengali, Biswha Kobitar Koyed Chhatra (Shaitta Bikash, 2008) and Shaheed Quaderi, Shamsur Rahman, Humayun Azad and many more Bengali poets into English. Kobiter Janmodag (Mowla, 2008), is his collection of critical essays on poetry.

In 2007, he was the finalist for Poet Laureate of Queens, New York. In 2016, at the International Silk Road Poetry Festival in the Szechuan Province, China, he was awarded the Homer European Medal of Poetry & Art. Mr. Abdullah also invited to International Poetry Festival in Greece (2019), and Poland (2019, 2021), Mexico (2022, Online), India (2022).

Hassanal Abdullah received a translation grant from QCA in cooperation with the New York City Cultural Affiars for translating poetry from Bengali to English. With the help of the grant he published an anthology Contemporary Bangladeshi Poetry (CCC and Feral Press, NY, 2019). He also received the Labubhai Foundation Award in 2013 for the sonnet form innovation, and was awarded Ianicius International Prize of Klemens Janicki from the Polish Writers Union (2021) "for a great contribution to world poetry."

Mr. Abdullah has lived in New York City since 1990, where he works as a High School math and computer teacher for the Department of Education. He also taught Calculus and Computers at Hunter College and Laguardia Community College.

His book Under the Thin Layers of Light, which was first published in New York (2015) has been translated into Chinese and Polish and was published from Taiwan and Poland in 2020 and 2021 respectively. His Kobita Somogra (Collected Poems) in original Bengali text was published in two volumes (560-page each) from Dhaka by Ananya in 2019 and 2022.

He is married with Naznin Seamon, who is also a poet and short story teller. They are the parents of their only son, Ekok Soubir, who is 13 days older than the 21st century.




Whenever I cast my sight, I find her anew.
The more I touch her the more she thrills in luster.
I’m aware her body knows bird mythology.
Her soft and smooth limbs are as tender as a vine;
covering my slim body, licking my sinews,
they glitter in the garden, blooming in clusters
unfurl her hair and eyes and breasts and thighs on me.

Talks ripple in the villages and out through the towns.
Facebook waves them from one corner to another
of the world, wriggling in the finest alphabets
we wildly adorn. At evening parties with wine
glasses toast a bliss. We quiver under a brown
quilt sewn in leaves, as the rainstorms tremble further
to wash our sweat, in icy dawns or warm sunsets.

--SWATANTRA SONNET 158





Prizes/Honors:

2022: Crest, Hasumonir Patshala, Dhaka, Bangladesh
2021: Ianicius International Prize of Klemens Janicki, Poland
2019: Queens Art Council Translation Grant, New York, USA
2017: Crest of Honor, Poet's Fifth Birthday Celebration Committee, Dhaka, Bangladesh
2015: Pushcart Nominee, New York, USA
2016: Homer European Medal of Poetry and Art, Poland
2013: Lebubhai Foundation Award, New York, USA
2009: Pushcart Nominee, New York, USA
2008: Pushcart Nominee, New York, USA
2007: Queens Borough Poet Laureate finalist, New York, USA

updated: January, 2023
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