Shazia Hafiz Ramji
Shazia Hafiz Ramji published her debut book, Port of Being, in 2018. The poetry collection is a smart and often sinister look into the many ways we are surveilled — online, on the street, by the government or otherwise. The book was shortlisted for the 2019 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. The Vancouver-based poet and writer has contributed to publications like Quill & Quire, Canadian Literature and The Puritan.
CBC Books named Ramji a writer to watch in 2019.
- Why Shazia Hafiz Ramji writes poetry about modern-day surveillance and addiction
- 19 Canadian writers to watch in 2019
Books by Shazia Hafiz Ramji
"About a year later, I lost my job and I was really depressed. I've experienced depression before and I'm a recovering addict, so I knew that what helped me in the past was listening — whether that was to people or music — and walking the city. But this time, I was too depressed to go out of the house and make field recordings — things like going out in the forest and capturing sounds of birds and nature like I used to.
Writing this was cathartic for sure, but it was also a revelation to acknowledge the things that I've been through.- Shazia Hafiz Ramji
"I was working through what had happened to me through the poetry and coming at it from a slant. It was a bit scary to have my emotions out there — especially when it came to the poems about addiction and stalking. I hadn't really told anyone and my parents did not know how serious my addiction truly was.
"Writing this was cathartic for sure, but it was also a revelation to acknowledge the things that I've been through. Before this book, I was honestly trying to subdue them and not to confront them. I gradually move to a more direct confrontation toward the end of the book."