Tarfia Faizullah


TARFIA FAIZULLAH is the author of two poetry collections, REGISTERS OF ILLUMINATED VILLAGES (Graywolf, 2018) and SEAM (SIU, 2014). Tarfia’s writing appears widely in the U.S. and abroad in the Daily Star, Hindu Business Line, BuzzFeed, PBS News Hour, Huffington Post, Poetry Magazine, Ms. Magazine, the Academy of American Poets, Oxford American, the New Republic, the Nation, Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket, 2019), and has been displayed at the Smithsonian, the Rubin Museum of Art, and elsewhere. The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, three Pushcart prizes, and other honors, Tarfia presents work at institutions and organizations worldwide, and has been featured at the the Liberation War Museum of Bangladesh, the Library of Congress, the Fulbright Conference, the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice, the Radcliffe Seminars, and elsewhere. Tarfia’s writing is translated into Bengali, Persian, Chinese, and Tamil, and is part of the theater production Birangona: Women of War. Tarfia’s collaborations include photographers, producers, composers, filmmakers, musicians, and visual artists, resulting in several interdisciplinary projects, including an EP, Eat More Mango. In 2016, Tarfia was recognized by Harvard Law School as one of 50 Women Inspiring Change, and is a 2019 USA Artists Fellow. Born in Brooklyn, NY to Bangladeshi immigrants and raised in Texas, Tarfia currently lives in Dallas. Source

The Sacrifice

  —Qurbani Eid


No, I said, I want 

to watch them behead 

the goat


                        with the men.

Her eyes glistened

as the scythe sang



                        her neck

and spine. I’m proud

of you, the uncles said. It is



                        to observe

death. Her hoof, cleaved

from her shin. Her belly.



                        I looked

was trickling ant-shadow.

Pleasant banter. Her blood.

The aunts


                        came out

to slide the chopped acres

of her into hissing oil

and onion,


                        She was

steam—sift and spice-bold.

I ate her between my cousins,



                        my palm across

the blood-gravy of what was left

on the filigreed china. Yes,

I savored


                        her more than

once: first with rice, then with

chutney. My first death. I felt


conflicted. Satisfied.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:


Childhood & Coming of Age

Death & Loss

Faith & Hope



Intersectionality & Culture

Strength & Resilience

Violence & War


Literary Devices:


conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie

Extended Metaphor

a metaphor that extends through several lines or even an entire poem


visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work


the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing

Sensory Detail

words used to invoke the five senses (vision, hearing, taste, touch, smell)