Mir Mahfuz Ali was born in Dhaka and studied at Essex University. He has worked as a male model and a tandoori chef, and as a dancer and actor. As a performer, he is renowned for his extraordinary voice — a rich, throaty whisper brought about by a Bangladeshi policeman trying to silence the singing of anthems during a public anti-war demonstration. Mir Mahfuz Ali was the recipient of the 2013 Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, and published his first collection with Seren in 2014.