Dr Bashabi Fraser, CBE, HonFASL is an award winning poet, children’s writer, editor and academic. She is the recipient of a CBE (2021 The Queen’s New Year Honours) for Education (her academic work), culture (poetry) and cultural integration (her bridge building projects linking Scotland and India) and was made Honorary Fellow of the Association of Scottish Studies in 2022. She has been declared Outstanding Woman of Scotland by Saltire Society in 2015. 

Bashabi is Professor Emerita of English and Creative Writing, Edinburgh Napier University and Founder Director of Scottish Centre of Tagore Studies (ScoTs). She is also an Honorary Fellow, Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Edinburgh, Honorary Fellow of the Association of Scottish Literary Studies (ASLS), Scotland and a Royal Literary Fund Fellow. She is the Chief Editor of the academic and creative peer-reviewed international e-journal, Gitanjali and Beyond and is on the Editorial Board of several international peer-reviewed journals and is on the Editorial Board of WritetrsMosaic, a Royal Literary Fund division.

Her work traverses continents in transnational literary projects. She has authored and edited 25 books, published several articles and chapters in academic and creative books/journals and has been widely anthologized as a poet.  Her recent publications include Habitat(2023), Lakshmi’s Footprints and Paisely Patterns: Perspectives on Scoto-Indian Literary and Cultural Interrelations (2023), The Patient Dignity (2021) and Rabindranath Tagore (2019).

Her other recent awards include Swami Vivekananda University’s Vivek Jyoti Sanman, 2023; Special Honour conferred as writer and Tagore Scholar awarded by Bangla Worldwide, 2023;  the Lifetime Achievement Award, 2022 presented by the UK Bengali Convention (UKBC); the Dr Maheswar Neog IPPL Award for Poetry 2022; Kavi Salam from Poetry Paradigm and Voice of the Republic in India in 2019; the Word Masala Foundation Award for Excellence in Poetry in 2017, Special Felicitation as a Poet on International Women’s Day by Public Relations Society of India, March 2017, Rabindra Bharati Society Honour, 2014, Women Empowered: Arts and Culture Award in 2010 and the AIO Prize for Literary Services in Scotland in 2009. 

Her other grants and funding awards include the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, International Senior Research Fellow ( 2016-17), UK-India Educational Research Initiatives (UKIERI) grant, funded jointly by the British Council and the University Grants Commission (UGC), India (2015-2017), Royal Literary Fund Fellow (2018-2020, 2012-2015), Carnegie Research Grant (2008), Edinburgh Napier University Research Grant (2008), British Council Consultancy (2008-2009), Scottish Arts Council Publication Grant (2008), Scottish Arts Council Writer’s Grant with Edinburgh Puppet Lab (2003-4), EMMA Best Book Award, Runner up for Rainbow World (2003-4), Moray Foundation Grant, University of Edinburgh (2001 and 2000), Scottish Arts Council Literature Grant, for anthology (2000), British Academy Research Grant (1999-2000), University Grants Commission of India Teacher Fellowship, , Sept 1984-Feb 1988.

Bashabi has been an Adjudicator for several national and international creative writing competitions. Recently, she has been a Judge for the Non-Fiction Book Prize and the Scottish National Book of the Year Award for Saltire Society, Scotland (2022) and the Kavya Prize, sponsored by Glasgow University (2022). 

Bashabi is Honorary Vice President of the Association of Scottish Literature s (ASL), an executive committee member of Scottish PEN, and Writers at Risk and Writers for Peace Committees (Scotland), a Trustee of the Patrick Geddes Trust,  the Kolkata Scottish Heritage Trust and the Edinburgh South Asian Association and Patron of the Federation of Writers (Scotland). She is the founder and Honorary President of the Advisory Board of the Intercultural Poetry and Performance Library (IPPL) in Kolkata; she is on the Advisory Board of the V&A Museum in Dundee and the Indian Association of Scottish Studies. Bashabi lives in Edinburgh.

John Masefield Lecture

Bashabi Fraser delivering the John Masefield Lecture for the Poetry Association of Scotland at the Scottish Poetry Library, December 2019.  Photo by Ian Taylor.