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Ayaz Pirani

Ayaz Pirani was born in Musoma, Tanzania but grew up in Canada. His parents were born in Kenya and Tanzania with ancestral roots in South Asia. He studied humanities and writing at York University’s Collège Glendon, and at Concordia University in Montreal. Pirani also studied at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. He now lives in California.

Poetry (Chapbook)

Bachelor of Art

Toronto: Anstruther Press, 2020.


Happy You are Here

Washington, DC: The Word Works, 2016.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

This dizzying first collection will startle and delight.Happy You Are Here pulls its reader around the globe, plunges us deep into myth, slings us through the almost-unbelievable reality that is life, today, on this planet.


How Beautiful People Are

Guelph: Gordon Hill Press, 2022.
PS8631.I71 H69 2022

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

In How Beautiful People Are, his third collection, Ayaz Pirani continues to write his people’s pothi: a trans-national, inter-generational poetry of post-colonial love and loss animated by the syncretizing figure of Kabir and drawn from the extraordinary diwan of ginan and granth literature. Walking alongside the tiger of Ali and an assortment of beloved infidels, Ayaz uncovers just How Beautiful People Are. After all, what will darkness do, his poems ask, when a true guru makes light?


Kabir’s Jacket has a Thousand Pockets

Toronto: Mawenzi House, 2019.
PS8631 .I71 K33 2019

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Step into the crater of East Africa and meet the grain of sand from Sindh. Eat pearls from Indian Ismaili ginans and attend to the True Guru.

Aglow with post-colonial loss, wryly defiant of what they are admitting, the poems in Kabir’s Jacket Has a Thousand Pockets describe a warm estrangement and salty gratitude for being on Earth.  It’s not war-reporting and Ayaz doesn’t solve crimes. He doesn’t have his head in the lion’s mouth. He draws from Kabir’s Bijak, Ghalib, and the oral granth and ginan tradition to plot a lifelong and generational immigration.


Ayaz Pirani personal website

Publisher Anstruther Press

Publisher Gordon Hill Press

Publisher Mawenzi House

Publisher The Word Works