Parwana Fayyaz

Parwana Fayyaz was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. She is currently working towards a Ph.D. on the medieval Persian poet Jami at Trinity College, Cambridge. She is a poet and would like to stay in academia. She recently won Best Single Poem at the Forward Prizes 2019 for her poem Forty Names. It draws inspiration both narrative and lyrical from medieval Persian traditions; Fayyaz heard the story from her parents when she was a child. ‘It is about a mountain called kohi chehal dokhtaran, the forty girls’ mountain. My poem tries to re-narrate the story by giving the forty women their names, a lamp and their colourful scarves.’