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Faces Hidden in the Dust: Selected Ghazals of Ghalib - trans. by Tony Barnstone & Bilal Shaw

 $18.00, ISBN 978-1-945680-50-2

Mirza Asadullah Beg Khan (1797-1869), known by his pen names Asad (“lion”) and Ghalib (“superior”), is the famous romantic and mystical poet of the Mughal Empire (1526-1858) in India. He is the most-beloved and most widely read poet of the Urdu language, the dominant language of northern India and Pakistan that emerged through the blending of Hindustani with Arabic and Persian.  

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Ghalib is the Shakespeare of India, the last great poet of the Mughal empire. His poems have been sung in Urdu gatherings for centuries, offering visions of passionate love in a merging of the human and divine. Tony Barnstone and Bilal Shaw have made them sing in English.”


—John Balaban - prize winning poet, translator, and former president of the American Literary Translators Association


“Emotionally complex, witty and philosophical, Ghalib’s poetry transcends the boundaries of race, religion and time. Barnstone and Shaw’s extraordinary English translations bring this beloved Urdu poet in his full glory closer to us.”


—Sholeh Wolpé, Writer-in-Residence, UCI

Tony Barnstone is Professor of English and Environment Studies at Whittier College and the author of 19 books and a music CD. In addition to Pulp Sonnets, his books of poetry include Beast in the Apartment; Tongue of War: From Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki, winner of the John Ciardi Prize in Poetry; The Golem of Los Angeles, which won the Poets Prize and the Benjamin Saltman Award in Poetry; Sad Jazz: Sonnets; and Impure: Poems by Tony Barnstone, and a chapbook of poems titled Naked Magic (Main Street Rag). He is also a distinguished translator of Chinese poetry and literary prose and an editor of literary textbooks. His website is

Bilal Shaw is a Kashmiri scientist working in quantum information science who did his PhD at the University of Southern California. In the past he has worked on DNA-based computation and nanotechnology, software architecture, and theoretical self-assembly. He has worked as a scientist in the Analytics department at ID Analytics in San Diego, where he applied machine-learning techniques to build statistical risk models for fraud and credit space and at the meditation app Headspace. He is also an accomplished poet.

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