World Poetry Books | 2025

In this English-language debut, Nadia Anjuman  (1980-2005) draws upon the lineage of Persian and Sufi writing and her life under Taliban rule, attending to love, oppression, myth, and devotion through lyrics that embrace and resist tradition. Anjuman grew up in the Herat, Afghanistan—a city known for its poetry for centuries. While the Taliban was in power, Anjuman met with other women in a needlepoint school to secretly discuss literature. She went on to attend university and write two celebrated volumes of poetry—selections from which are presented here for the  first time in English—before her early death due to domestic violence. Smoke Drifts is a co-translation from the original Dari done in collaboration with Marina Omar. Arterian edited the volume. Smoke Drifts was a finalist for the Wisconsin Poetry in Translation Prize.