Over the past three decades—

I have generated a novel, essays, poems, and short stories that have appeared in anthologies, newspapers, magazines, and online publications.

Sehba Sarwar Writer Activist
Sehba Sarwar teaching writing workshop Voices of the Displaced at Project Row Houses, Houston; photo by Shaista Parveen

My work moves between Pakistan, the US, and in spaces in between, collapsing borders while tackling women’s issues, displacement, and migration.

My essays and poems have appeared in anthologies, newspapers and magazines including the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Callaloo, ASIA: Magazine of Asian Literature, South Asian Review and elsewhere. My recent NYT’s story, “A Delicate Matter in the Examination Room,” tells the story of a refugee, who shares the challenges and humor of translating medical terms.

My latest short story, "Railway Track," was released in May 2019 as part of Akashic Press' series, Houston Noir, edited by fellow writer Gwendolyn Zepeda.

In “Railway Track,” the protagonist discovers that being a mental health counselor is like being a detective. Another short story, “Soot,” published by a Feminist Press anthology, And the World Changed (ed. Muneeza Shamsie), is about a Pakistani woman pursuing a graduate internship at an Indian non-profit organization, while “A Sandstone Past” in Neither Night Nor Day: 13 Stories By Women Writers From Pakistan (ed. Rakshanda Jalil) is told in the voice of a 14-year-old, who recounts a story that highlights the impact of 1947 Partition on contemporary Karachi.

Book covers: Houston Noir, And the World Changed and Neither Night Nor Day

As artistic director/founder for Voices Breaking Boundaries (VBB), an arts organization that I started in 2000 after writing a protest poem about events unfolding in Pakistan, I visualized and directed VBB’s Borderlines publications, and two of my essays appear in Borderlines Volumes One and Three.

In both essays, I share about challenges that arise as a result of family movement from India to Pakistan and the US.

Upcoming and Recent Publications

MAY 2019

Short story:Railway Track.” Houston Noir, edited by Gwendolyn Zepeda, Akashic Press, May 2019.

MAR 2019

Novel: Black Wings (second edition). El Paso: Veliz Books, February 2019.

DEC. 2018

Poetry:On Belonging and Other Poems.” Papercuts Nomad issue, edited by Sorayya Khan. Desi Writers Lounge, December 2018.

FEB. 2018

Essay:Jury Duty.” Aleph Review. 1 February, 2018.

FEB. 2018

Essay:When you’ve lived many places, how do you find home?Gray Matters, Houston Chronicle, 1 February, 2018.


I am working on a memoir as well as generating essays, short stories, and poems.


I am an author and speaker, an artist, and a community and cultural activist.

If I can use my talents and passions to inspire you or your network to push boundaries and become involved in our communities, please connect with me. I offer a range of services including: readings, workshops, courses, or multidisciplinary performances/installations. I look forward to hearing from you!

Sehba Sarwar Art Car
Front hood of my art car, Digital Meets Pakistani Truck Art, featuring stickers of buraq images from Karachi; photo by Burnell McCray