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Resource July 5, 2012

Meet Journalist Eliza Griswold: For the Love of Words


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Anonymous and spoken, landai, two-line Pashtun poems, have served for centuries as a means of self...

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Journalist Eliza Griswold explores the ancient art of writing landai poetry in Afghanistan and the importance of these poems to Afghan women. While in traditional Afghan society women must keep their passions secret, the landai poetry serves as an outlet from their constricted lives. To keep their identity hidden women often use pen names.

Zarmina, an Afghan girl, used the name Rahila to hide her poetry from a controlling family. Pulitzer Center grantee Eliza Griswold investigates Zarmina's secret life and her involvement in Mirman Baheer, a women's literary society based in Kabul.