SHAHIDAH JANJUA 1949-2020
Latest News 12/04/2022
Shahidah's work to feature at Feile na Bealtaine, Dingle, Co Kerry.
Féile na Bealtaine sees the posthumous release of Shahidah’s latest poetry and prose volumes, The Sun the Stars are Merged, While Gravity Held Me Perfectly Still and Lest we Forget to Greet the Sun.
Shahidah Janjua (1949-2020) grew up in rural Pakistan and was writing from the age of 16. She moved to London as a teenager when her family were exiled because of her father’s political activism. It was here that she found a voice for her feminist activism. Shahidah moved to Ireland in the 1980’s, living in Derry and Belfast, before settling in Castlegregory in 2005. Shahidah continued to write political articles and poetry throughout her adult life, featuring in many magazines and anthologies. Shahidah’s work takes the reader through her life, each poem and piece of prose connected by recurring, colliding themes. Féile na Bealtaine sees the posthumous release of Shahidah’s latest poetry and prose volumes, The Sun the Stars are Merged, While Gravity Held Me Perfectly Still and Lest we Forget to Greet the Sun. Previous releases of her work have included Putting in the Pickle where the Jam should Be, Privileged Witness and Dimensions.
Poetry and Shorts Collection - Now Available
Poetry and Shorts Collection
This poetry and shorts collection by Pakistani writer and feminist activist, Shahidah Janjua takes the reader through the author’s life, each poem and piece of prose both segmented and connected by recurring, colliding themes.
Beginning with evocative imagery of Lahore, Dimensions opens with reflections on Janjua’s early life. The smells, sights, sounds and rhythm of her childhood express both warm nostalgia and intense discomfort. She identifies women as a central, vital force in her life and this is a thread that continues throughout the book.
The work moves on to the palpable pain of the loss of her son, with poems and extracts of her diary speaking to him – and us - of her love, her regrets and her memories. Shahidah Janjua manages to be articulate even in the depths of this pain, with words about grief that are both universal and profoundly personal.
Light-hearted poems also pepper her work, offering a welcome relief from the intensity of the author’s uncompromising, articulate analysis of the misogyny and hate in the world around her. And tales of Shahidah the wild child are an indication of the rebellious, misbehaving streak that remains, decades later.
A powerful commentary about the powerful connections between women, the pain we live through and the injustices that surround us, this is a deeply feminist collection of work that cuts through the fog and shines a blazing light on oppression. It takes readers from wistful longing to brutal pain and back in a single breath, via humour and carefully chosen evocations.
Shahidah Janjua’s words are both beautiful and desolate, because the world she describes is too. This collection of books is a work of beauty, a work of passionate feminism, and a work of truth; truth about women, our lives and our many, complex realities.
A Patriot’s Journey Through Partition and the Independence of Pakistan
My father wrote his memoir in order to document his experiences of the years leading up to and just after, the partition of India and the birth of Pakistan. He was encouraging of others to do the same. Strictly speaking this is not a historical document. However, it is the experience and perspective of a significant individual whose actions made a difference at that time, and for a considerable period afterwards.
€16.99 (Inclusive of P&P)
“I remember many hours of conversation with the late Air Commodore MK Janjua, Pakistan's first air chief who, falling foul of his political masters, was falsely arraigned and sentenced in the 1951 Rawalpindi Conspiracy case, which allegedly was Communist driven. A fellow prisoner, the poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, in 1979 assured me during a visit to London that Janjua was neither conspirator nor Communist, but a victim of events over which he had no control. He was eventually cashiered and released and ended his long years of exile in London where I came to know him well.”