No Fortunes to Tell


“Harris Khalique explores with self-contained mastery the contrasts between official and untold history; the almost magical crudity of poetical observation aspires here to heal the well-spring of common stories where customary meaning loses its grip and absurdity finally makes sense.”
Omar Pérez—Essayist, Editor (Son of Ernesto Che Guevara)

“In No Fortunes to Tell, the poet records his experience of the world with brutal candour. His poems speak with chill detachment of war and its horror, destitution and disease and the dehumanisation of the poor. Beneath the matter of fact tone, spare language and austerity of the writing, there is pain for the human lot. This is a poetry that moves even as it terrifies and shocks. It shuns lyricism because the truth is too bitter to bear prettification or musical colour. ”
Adrian A. Husain —Poet, Author of Desert Album and Italian Window, Renaissance scholar, known for his Politics and Genre in Hamlet

“No Fortunes to Tell opens windows into a mind, one determined to confront its hauntings. Harris Khalique pays his respects to the shades of events that frighten us, leave communities unsettled and provoke our most necessary acts of love. His meditations refract violence, each abstracting human need from a detailed portrait of sorrow.”
Kristin Dykstra—Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, St Michael’s College, Vermont

“In precise, striking language Harris Khalique’s poems grapple with the great tragedies and moral questions of our time. He reveals Aleppo, Yemen and Waziristan as no reporter can, as only a poet can. A marsiya for our broken world.”
Basharat Peer—Author Curfewed Night


Harris Khalique is a leading Urdu and English language poet. He is also an essayist and columnist. During the 1980s and 1990s, some of his poems faced censorship in Pakistan. Anthologised and published internationally, he is translated into several languages and his poetry is composed to music and dance. He is a University of Iowa Honorary Fellow in Writing and has spoken and written widely on themes straddling literature, politics, history and human rights. He is the recipient of the President’s Award for Pride of Performance – one of the highest civilian honours in Pakistan – and the UBL Literary Excellence Award.


Publisher: Folio Books

Publishing date: 2019

ISBN: 978-969-7834-04-4

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 88

Rights: World

Availability: In Stock

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