Friday, 27 April 2012

Fauzia Rafique


 Fauzia Rafique is a South Asian Canadian writer of fiction and poetry, as well as a translator, playwright, screen-writer, and a blogger. Recently recognized with a Distinguished  Poet & Novelist award (WIN Canada's Best 2012), Fauzia is currently the Coordinator of Surrey Muse, an interdisciplinary Art and Literature group. 

Her novel 'Skeena' is now available in three editions and two languages:  English (Libros Libertad, 2011) + Punjabi Gurumukhi (Uddari Books, 2011) + Punjabi Shahmukhi (Lahore, 2007). A selection of her English and Punjabi poetry, 'Passion-Fruit/Tahnget-Phal,' was also published by Uddari Books in 2011, and she edited the anthology 'Aurat Durbar' (English, Toronto 1995).   

Fauzia worked as a Screenwriter for Pakistan Television, and adapted the first novel of Fyodor Dostoevsky titled 'Poor Folk' (1846) in Punjabi as 'Apay Ranjha Hoi' (14 Episodes, 55 minutes each, PTV Lahore 1976), and Altaf Fatima's Urdu novel 'Dastak Na Do' (13 Episodes, 25 minutes each, PTV Lahore, 1975). She also wrote an original play on the profile of a Rag Picker (55 minutes, PTV Quetta, 1985).

"My name means different things in different languages. In Arabic, it is the 'Spirit of Tranquility' (Sakina), in Hebrew; the 'Indwelling Feminine Face of Divinity' (Shekhinah); and in the languages of Nisga'a Peoples, the 'River of Mists' (Skeena). At this time, I don't favor one meaning over the other. They make a lot of sense together but if I met a people who associated this sound to a meaning that does not fit my scheme, I will have to pick and choose."
"It was the most wonderful time of my life, and BC is way more beautiful than any other place that I know. On a clear day at the farm, I could see the mountains from my window; and the air did not smell of gasoline. The environment was so peaceful that I could hear the hummingbirds even when sixty people were picking berries and chatting in the orchard with me. I was at home like I had never been in Canada. 

Manjeet and Bha Mahnga inducted me into their household not as a boarder but as a sister. That is what I also expected. Summer was busy, winter was no less. What was common was a sense of invigoration in my daily routine. All of us worked from five in the morning to nine or ten in the evening. Manjeet and I would make breakfasts and lunches, and get the kids ready; at 6:30, Bha Mahnga would drive them to school, and we would clean up and join him in the orchard by seven. From that time on, I would chase and pick berries, interrupted only by lunch and a couple of tea breaks. Evenings were spent watching TV, finishing household chores, reading stories and studying.

I found myself in charge of Manjeet's children's education and wardrobe because the kids had assumed that coming from Toronto I would somehow be competitive in both. I tried to tell them that I had lived in a prison in Toronto but both Parmjeet and Sukhwinder thought it was an interesting story. I also did not want to think about it, so I began making use of the public library to stay on top of teen fashion and education."
~ Fauzia Rafique, Skeena

Triple: A novel in verse

Aurat Durbar: The Court of Women

Aurat Durbar contains 74 selections of both poetry and prose by 31 South Asian women only. These south Asian women live in Canada, United States, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India... Heterosexual, bisexual or lesbian and born to high or low caste/class, they are first or second generation Canadians in various phases of their lives. They fall into categories of social realism, psychological studies and explorations of language.
— Book Reviews/Recensions/Canadian Ethnic Studies
Vol.XXIX No.1 1/97
More reviews on Sumach Press 

A blogger and web designer, you can visit Fauzia online:
Uddari Weblog ( 
Uddari Art (
Love Life the story ( )
and (online profile) Fauzia Rafique ( ).

Fauzia is the final literary performer for whom I have been making introductions, in anticipation of our afternoon of word & drum: Poetry Nature.

Join us 6 May 1:30 ~ 4 pm,
Richmond City Hall Council Chambers 
Richmond BC

Links to the other five performers:
Alejandro Mujica-Olea
Senaqwila Wyss
Kagan Goh
Larry Nicholson
Michelle Sylliboy

Coming up next: David DiTomaso's Drum Syndicate and Los Tambores.

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