Shukrea Erfani was born in Qarabaagh, Afghanistan and moved to Iran with her family when she was five. There, she was able to start school. When she was a teenager, Shukrea started writing poetry due to encouragement from her teachers and her father’s interest in literature.
It was during that time when women participated in a poetry gathering in Qom for the first time. Using excuses and lies, I was able to gain my family’s permission to attend.
At that gathering, Shukrea came to know contemporary poets and gain access to the greatest works of Persian literature. For the first time, she felt that poetry must be a part of her life forever. After getting married, Shukrea moved to Tehran where she found greater access to Persian literature. She attended university and learned about ancient Persiantexts. She also collaborated with local organizations and publications. She was among the founding members of Afghanistan’s Literature House and the editorial staff of Farkhar Publication. After graduating university, Shukrea moved to Moscow and eventually settled in Australia.
In addition to writing about her experiences as a refugee, Shukrea writes about womanhood in her poetry published in two collections, The Language of Solitudeand Our Pain Doesn’t Threaten the World. If writing is a means to knowledge, Shukrea has learned many important lessons from it. She says while at first her poetry exclusively addressed the pains, needs, and voices of women, now she uses it to redefine gender altogether.
“For us to have a humane society, we must fight violence and hate with love. I now believe that in addition to being active participants in our oppressive system and society, men are victims of it too. They have been forced into sacrificing their humanity to become weapons for violence. They too suffer. Today, if I write about women, I write from this perspective.”