The book launch for Timsal Masud’s edited three-volume collection of Mir Anis’s poetry, Anis: 111 Marsiye, took place on December 10, 2022, at the Islamic Education Center in Chicago.
The first speaker, Professor Peter Knapczyk, a scholar of Urdu literature from Wake Forest University, briefly introduced Urdu marsiya’s development. Drawing on 16th, 17th, and 18th-century manuscripts, Knapczyk showed how early marsiya poets incorporated various languages and dialects and experimented with narrative styles to reach wider audiences. Knapczyk noted that his research on early marsiya was possible thanks to Masud Hasan Rizvi Adeeb’s (Timsal Masud’s grandfather) extensive manuscript collection of early marsiya.
Timsal Masud spoke about Mir Anis’s contribution to Urdu literature and marsiya specifically. While talking about this decade-long editing project, Masud described his work as an intra-generational project and thanked his father, Naiyer Masud, and his grandfather, whose prior academic research made this edition possible. Masud also recited a short piece of marsiya, which the audience greatly appreciated.
Finally, Arif Imam, a renowned Urdu-language poet based in Houston, and Sayyid Mehboob Mehdi Abidi, a resident scholar based in Chicago, spoke about the importance of this edited collection and about Mir Anis’ work more generally.
The hall was packed and after the program, Timsal Masud signed around forty sets.