Project Description

Mahmood Jamal


Mahmood Jamal was born in Lucknow, India, in 1948. He came to Britain from Pakistan in 1967. His poems have been published in the London Magazine and broadcast on BBC Radio and he has performed at leading poetry venues in London and around the UK. He has also featured in several anthologies including New British Poetry and Grandchildren Of Albion .

In 1984 Mahmood Jamal was the recipient of the Minority Rights Group Award for his poetry, translations and critical writings. In the same year he published his first volume of poetry, Silence Inside a Gun’s Mouth. Mahmood Jamal works as an independent producer and writer and has produced several documentary series, notably a series on Islam entitled Islamic Conversations. He was also a lead writer on Britain’s first Asian soap, Family Pride, and wrote and produced the groundbreaking drama TURNING WORLD for Channel4 television. Mahmood Jamal has a degree in South Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Published Works:
Sugar Coated Pill (Word Power 2006/7)
Coins For Charon (Courtfield Press 1976)
Silence Inside A Gun’s Mouth (Kala Press London 1984)
Penguin Book Of Modern Urdu Poetry (Penguin Books, London 1986)
Modern Urdu Poetry (Farida Jamal/Translit Kuala Lumpur 1995)
Song Of The Flute (Culture House, London 2000)

Anthologies :
Angels Of Fire ( Chatto And Windus 1986)
New British Poetry ( Paladin Books 1988)
Grandchildren Of Albion ( New Departures 1992)
The Republic Of Conscience (Aird Books 1992)
Voices Of Conscience ( Iron Press 1995)
POW ( New Departures 1996)
POP! ( New Departures)
VELOCITY ( Apples & Snakes 2003)
GARGOYLE ( Paycock Press 1997)
RAINBOW WORLD (Hodder Wayland 2003)

These poems are a series of conversations that I have been having over the years with friends, opponents, those in power and those I love. Sometimes the conversation is loud and argumentative, sometimes subdued and reflective, sometimes it promises and sometimes it warns.
The poems I hope, cover as many moods as any thinking and feeling individual goes through and I hope they convey something of what I believe and hold dear and a bit of the wisdom which comes with age and experience. They are personal , political and philosophical as most of us are at different times. In other words they are the voice of one human being amongst many.

Mahmood Jamal

DEDICATED TO ALL MY FRIENDS- Past, Present and Future


You want to speak of War
I want to speak of Peace.

You say Punish
I say Forgive

You speak of God’s Wrath
I speak of His Mercy

Your Quran is a Weapon
My Quran is a Gift

You speak of the Muslim brotherhood
I speak of the brotherhood of Man

You like to Warn others
I like to Welcome them

You like to speak of Hell
I like to speak of Heaven.

You talk of Lamentation
I talk of Celebration.

You worship the Law
I worship the Divine.

You want Silence
I want Music

You want Death
I want Life

You speak of Power
I speak of Love.

You search out Evil
I warm to the Good

You dream of the Sword
I sing of the Rose petal

You say the world is a Desert
I say the world is a Garden

You prefer the Plain
I prefer the Adorned

You want to Destroy
I want to Build

You want to go Back
I want to move Forward

You are busy Denying
I am busy Affirming

Yet there might be one thing
on which we see eye to eye

You want Justice
So do I.
Mahmood Jamal, November 2001