Dilruba Ahmed

Dilruba Ahmed’s debut book, Dhaka Dust, won the Bakeless Prize for Poetry, awarded by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Blackbird, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, and Poetry. Ahmed is the recipient of the Florida Review’s Editors’ Award and a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Prize.

Bring Now the Angels


This collection juxtaposes text from Google Search autocomplete with the intimate language of prayer. Corporate jargon coexists with the incantatory and ancient ghazal form. Ahmed’s second book of poetry explores the terrain of loss—of a beloved family member, of human dignity and potential, of the earth as it stands, of hope. Her poems weave mourning with the erratic process of healing, skepticism with an unsteady attempt to regain faith. With poems that are by turns elegiac, biting, and tender, Bring Now the Angels conveys a desire to move toward transformation and rebirth, even among seemingly insurmountable obstacles: chronic disease, corporate greed, environmental harm, and a general atmosphere of anxiety and violence.

…They are turning their locks
to paint their faces

and their daughters’ faces.
They look on as the girls regard
their eyes in mirrors, in the long

cracked mirror of history, and war.
They paint themselves into existence
inside the shuttered rooms

of their hearts, where freedom
still bristles…

Upcoming Appearances

Wednesday, April 29 2020 7:00 pm
Print: A Bookstore 273 Congress Street Portland, ME Directions
Thursday, April 30 2020 7:00 pm
Asian Student Alliance & Student Center for Multicultural Life Bowdoin College 255 Maine Street Brunswick, Maine 04011 Directions
Friday, May 1 2020 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Saying the Unsayable: A Poetry Workshop (Note: Fee applies) Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance Glickman Library, University of Southern Maine 314 Forest Ave. Portland, ME Directions
Saturday, May 30 2020 4:30 pm
PHILLY BOOK LAUNCH with readings by Rebecca Davis, Satya T. Nelms, & Ross White & a recitation of Bengali poetry by special guest, Mahmuda Ahmed Penn Book Center 130 S. 34th Street Philadelphia, PA Directions
Wednesday, November 11 2020 7:00 pm
Moonstone Poetry @ Fergie’s Pub with Sham-e-Ali Nayeem, Cynthia Dewi Oka, & J.C. Todd Fergie’s Pub 1214 Sansom Street Philadelphia, PA Directions