Khondakar Ashraf Hossain was a leading poet, essayist, translator and editor. He had to his credit a number of collections of poetry, plays and essays in Bengali and English. Born in Jamalpur, Bangladesh, in 1950, he was educated at University of Dhaka and Leeds University. He was a professor of English at University of Dhaka. He translated from Bangla to English and from German and English to Bangla. He edited and published a literary magazine "Ekobingsha" which was embarked by Hossain himself in 1985 with its main focused on the new poetry of Bangladesh.
June 16 marked the second death anniversary of the poet. To mark his death anniversary, several social and cultural organisations arranged different ptogrammes across the country.
Khondakar Ashraf wrote a wide variety of poems in lucid language and with innovative and suggestive imagery. Expressions and eloquence in his poetry came out his successful, spontaneous incorporation of national and world heritage and mythology into his personal experience and feelings. Though he began to write when postmodernism was blooming fast in the west, he denied to identify himself as an avowed post-modernist. Poet Professor Fakrul Alam considered his poems "humorous and witty" in some cases. Syed Manzoorul Islam opined that Ashraf at his initial stage was a romantic poet, now he is a realistic poet as he is writing in a very self-conscious way. Khondakar Ashraf's love poems are characterised by stark realism rather than by romantic euphoria. Professor emeritus Anisuzzaman deemed his poetry as the socio-political representation of Bangladesh. He explored not only contemporary social and political condition of his country but also the grounds of existential philosophy in conceiving human life as fragile yet undying, as self-destructive yet eternal. His keen observation of the human condition led him to be a serious poet.
Khondakar Ashraf patronised a drama group called Nagorik since the seventies. Nagorik is one of Bangladesh's leading theatrical groups, for which Ashraf served as both president and dramatist.
Khondakar Ashraf's notable literary works are "Tin Ramanir Qasida", "Partho Tomar Teebro Teer", "Jibaner Saman Chumuk", "Sundari O Ghrinar Ghungur", "Jamuna Parba", "Janmo Baul", "Tomar Namey Brishti Namey", "Aiona Dekhey Andha Manush", "Nirbachito Kabita", "Kabita Samgraha", "On Behula's Raft",
His collections of essays include "Bangladesher Kabita Antaranga Abalokan (A Study on Bangladeshi Poetry), Chirayata Puraan (Classical Mythology), Kabitar Antarjami, Adhunik Uttaradhunik O Annyanya, Prasango (Bangla Poetry in the contexts of Modernism, postmodernism and other trends), Biswa Kabitar Sonali Shashya (Gleanings from World Poetry), Modernism and Beyond: Western Influences on Bangladeshi poetry, Romantic and Modern: Latitudes and Longitudes of Poetry and others.
Khondakar Ashraf Hossain died on June 16 in 2013.