‘The Minister of Disturbances’ by Alumnus Zeeshan Khan Pathan ’18 Releases to Much Praise

BY Rochelle Goldstein, March 23, 2020

Winner of the Diode Editions’ poetry contest, The Minister of Disturbances by alumnus Zeeshan Khan Pathan ’18 has received advance praise from such noted American poets as Edward Hirsch, who called the book a “passionately lyrical and deeply probing book of disturbances and dispossessions, of longing, quest and exile.” Poet Mary Jo Bang called the poems “brilliantly edgy.”


Reflecting Pathan’s involvement with Middle East and Indian politics and identity, the book tackles such pressing issues as global climate change to the seismic effects of the Iraq and Afghan wars and other conflicts roiling the region. Above all, Pathan’s poems meditate on the ways exile and displacement have transformed both individual lives and great swaths of the Middle East.


Pathan’s poetry has been featured in Tarpaulin Sky Press magazine, as well as Lily Poetry Review and will be forthcoming in Poetry Northwest. His work is also included in an anthology of contemporary American Muslim writings to be published by Red Hen Press. 


A writer of short fiction as well as poetry, Pathan is interested in world literature and literary theory, and the poetry of the Middle East and India. Pathan speaks several languages and translates from Urdu, Turkish and Persian.