bengal lights is a literary journal published from dhaka, bangladesh. our tastes are cosmopolitan: no location, no writer, no genre is off-limits. we welcome all writers: established or beginning, grizzled veterans or fresh-faced newbies, versed in the classics or cyber-narratives. we also seek to publish quality writing from bangladesh and south asia, but above all we seek to be engaged, to be a bazaar where all genres can mingle and multiply.


we want you. write to us, talk to us, feel free to rant or rave, send a poem or the old-fashioned travelogue. we would be as pleased to publish a vintage but well-crafted story about true love as to rumble with a graphic novel about life in the rough lanes of dhaka, detroit or dar-es-salaam.


we seek writing that reflects the spirit and diverse voices of bangladesh and the rest of south asia. we also want expressive writing from the wider world beyond it. we are searching for fresh voices and new talent. we seek to forge literary connections between bangladesh and the wider world.

initially, two issues will be published each year, in spring and autumn.
seeing the need for expansion of this enterprise and to promote quality writing from bangladesh, we recently set up the imprint of bengal lights books – launched at the Hay Festival Dhaka in November 2013. find out more at bengal lights books!


bengal lights was born out of a need.


creative writing in english is on the verge of a real efflorescence in bangladesh today. more of us are starting to write in english, forming book clubs and writers’ groups, attending literary fairs and with the hay festival road show turning up in town last year, in wanting to host them in dhaka. the one key component missing in that picture is a quality literary journal, and that’s where bengal lights hopes to come in.

we hope to fill an urgent need, to give this exciting, burgeoning energy for a new outlook and vocabulary a forum. there will be two print issues each year, and a dynamic, evolving website for continuous conversation, with a full menu of event reporting, literary news, writer profiles, book reviews, blogs, videos and online prose and poetry.

though we began with the idea of promoting bangladeshi writing, it soon became apparent to us that limiting our pages to any one country, or region, was not the way to go. we welcome not just bangladeshi writers in english, or south asians, but all writers, from all points of the globe.

we particularly welcome contributions and submissions from young and emerging writers. we seek to uncover new bangladeshi talent and work with them to lead their creative ideas towards publication.

the university of liberal arts bangladesh (ulab) has taken the lead as the publisher and will provide the funding to make this wonderful aspiration a reality. join us in this enterprise. link up with us. send your writings, suggestions, anything that seems relevant and helpful, or just take out a subscription.

bengal lights will be published in autumn (august) and spring (february).

the following writers and academics are the members of the journal’s advisory board:

  1. khademul islam (editor)
  2. amit chaudhuri (india)
  3. keki daruwalla (india)
  4. sivasish biswas (india)
  5. daya dissanayake (sri lanka)
  6. muneeza shamsie (pakistan)
  7. abhi subedi (nepal)
  8. k. anis ahmed
  9. tahmima anam
  10. firdous azim
  11. kaiser haq
  12. ahmede hussain
  13. syed manzoorul islam
  14. razia sultana khan
  15. sadaf saaz siddiqi
  16. jeffrey young
  17. chris heiser
  18. ahsan akbar

The Universityof Liberal Arts Bangladesh and its curricula are accredited by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh, and approved by the Ministry of Education, Government of People's Republic of Bangladesh.