Agha Shahid Ali won a Pushcart Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2001. A fellowship from the Ingram Merrill Foundation aided his writing of A Nostalgist’s Map of America and his work on The Rebel’s Silhouette. He was also awarded a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and an Artist’s Fellowship for Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts, which helped in the writing of The Country Without a Post Office. In addition, Ali received fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Since 2003, the University of Utah Press and the University of Utah’s Department of English have annually awarded the Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry.
These awards are testament to Ali’s tremendous contribution to poetry through his successful blending of both Western and Eastern influences in his life and in his writing. His thoughtful responses as a native in the multiracial, multicultural, multireligious, and multilingual environment of India (and Kashmir) and as an immigrant in the United States to racial, cultural, religious, and linguistic differences are reflected throughout his poetry. Furthermore, Ali solidified the North American understanding of the verse form of the ghazal through his translation of Faiz’s poetry, his anthology of North American ghazals, and his publication of his own ghazals.