Sophia Naz calls herself an in-between, an inhabitant of the hyphen. A South Asian American poet who has lived in the US since 1989, she was born in Karachi in 1964 to migrant parents from Allahabad and Bhopal, where she spent summer vacations since the age of three. Obsessed with dismantling the concept of “otherness” into one big yarn, her writing often dwells in the liminal, engaging with linguistic, cultural, religious, temporal, personal and geographical borders. She herself crossed quite a few onerous customs before moving to New York at the age of twenty-six, after living in Thailand for two years.
During her time in Manhattan she studied Sumi-e painting with Sensei Koho Yamamoto and garnered critical acclaim for her role as a deranged immigrant housewife in Watchman, Bina Sharif’s play at the Theater for the New City, before moving to California, where she currently resides with her husband Raam Pandeya, a former journalist, Hindi poet and master of an ancient healing practice known as Kayakalpa, which she has imbibed and practiced for the last two and a half decades. Although external events have inevitably influenced her work, Sophia believes that a daily practice of introspective solitude, a kind of inner alchemical refining of consciousness, is the crux of her poetic mother lode.