Dr. Waqas Khwaja

Georgia, United States

Member Since: 03/02/2011

Waqas Khwaja is the Ellen Douglass Leyburn Professor of English at Agnes Scott College where he teaches courses in Postcolonial literature, British Romanticism, Narratives of Empire, Gothic literature, Victorian poetry and fiction, Literature and Leadership, and Creative Writing. He has a Ph.D. in English from Emory University and a law degree (LL.B.) from the Punjab University Law College, Lahore. A recipient of the International Writing Program (IWP) fellowship from the University of Iowa, Khwaja has published four collections of poetry, Hold Your Breath, No One Waits for the Train, Mariam’s Lament, and Six Geese from a Tomb at Medum, as well as a literary travelogue, Writers and Landscapes, about his experiences as a fellow of the IWP, and three edited anthologies of Pakistani literature, Cactus, Mornings in the Wilderness, and Short Stories from Pakistan, representing work by Pakistani writers originally written in English and poetry and fiction from Urdu and Punjabi in English translations he undertook especially for these publications. He served as translation editor (and contributor) for Modern Poetry of Pakistan, a project jointly sponsored by the National Endowment of the Arts and the Pakistan Academy of Letters, which showcases the work of 44 poets from seven of Pakistan’s national and regional languages and has guest-edited a special issue of scholarly articles on Pakistani Literature for the Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies. A regular contributor to The Frontier Post, The Pakistan Economic Review, The Pakistan Times, News International, The Nation, and The Friday Times between 1983 and 1992, Khwaja was a practicing lawyer and visiting professor of law in Pakistan before migrating to the U.S. in 1994 to pursue an academic career in literature. He has published articles and essays on writers from a variety of linguistic and cultural traditions and on subjects as wide-ranging as literature and economics, history, culture, and politics. A special issue on Pakistani poetry that he guest-edited for Atlanta Review was released in Spring 2014. His poems and translations have appeared in US, Pakistani, Indian, European, East Asian and Far Eastern publications, literary journals, and anthologies. Khwaja regularly organizes poetry readings for social and political causes and arranges open public readings annually at Agnes Scott College as part of the international “100 Thousand Poets for Change” project. 


Additional information may be found on his website: wkhwaja.agnesscott.org.

Website: wkhwaja.agnesscott.org

Twitter Username: @wkhwaja


  • Hold Your Breath (poems) , The Onslaught Press, Oxford, UK (February 1, 2017)
  • Modern Poetry of Pakistan (poetry anthology/translations) , Dalkey Archive Press, US (December 2011)
  • No One Waits for the Train (poems) , Alhambra Publishers, Bertram, Belgium (August 2007)
  • Miriam's Lament, and other poerms , Sang-e-Meel Publications, Lahore, Pakistan (September 1991)
  • Writers and Landscapes (IWP travelogue) , Sang-e-Meel Publications, Lahore, Pakistan (March 1991)
  • Pakistani Short Stories (ed. anthology with translations) , UBS Publishers, Delhi, India (1992)
  • Mornings in the Wilderness (ed. anthology of Pakistani poetry and short fiction, English language originals and translations from Urdu) , Sang-e-Meel Publications, Lahore, Pakistan (1988)
  • Six Geese from a Tomb at Medum (poems) , Sang-e-Meel Publications, Lahore, Pakistan (March 1987)
  • Cactus: An Anthology of Pakistani Literature (Poetry, Fiction, & Non-fiction, English-language originals, and translations from Urdu & Punjabi) , Writers' Group, Alpha Bravo, Lahore (April 1985)


  • Ellen Douglass Leyburn Professor of English at Agnes Scott College (July 1995 - )


  • Doctoral Degree in English Literature from Emory University (May 1995)

Genres of Interest

Fiction, Creative nonfiction, Poetry