Faiz Ahmed Faiz (Punjabi, Urdu: فيض احمد فيض; born 1911, died 1984) was a South Asian poet considered to be one of the most famous modern Urdu poets, though he also wrote in Punjabi. He was born in Sialkot, in the Punjab during British rule (now Pakistan). After the independence in 1947, he decided to live in Pakistan, and died in Lahore. Faiz was a member of the Anjuman Tarraqi Pasand Mussanafin-e-Hind (Progressive Writers' Movement), and an avowed Marxist. In 1962 he was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union.
In a certain period of his life, Faiz was a communist and was associated with the Communist Party of Pakistan. Faiz spent much of the 1950s and 1960s promoting the cause of communism in Pakistan. During the time when Faiz was editor of The Pakistan Times, one of the leading newspapers of 50s, he lent editorial support to CP. He was also involved in the circle lending support to military personnel (e.g. Major General Akbar Khan. This involvement with CP and Major General Akbar Khan's coup plan lead to his imprisonment later.
Faiz was charged with complicity in a failed coup attempt known as the Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case and was sentenced to four years' imprisonment in 1951. The jail term gave him a first-hand experience of the harsh realities of life, and provided him with the much-needed solitude to think and write poetry. Two of his greatest works Dast-e-Saba and Zindan-Nama were products of this period of imprisonment.
Faiz was the first Asian poet to be awarded the Lenin Peace Prize, the Soviet Union's equivalent to the Nobel Prize in 1963. Other notable recipients include Pablo Neruda, Nelson Mandela, W. E. B. Du Bois, Bertolt Brecht, Fidel Castro and Nobel Prize winning Chemist Linus Pauling. The real award for a poet is the love and appreciation of his fans and Faiz enjoyed both for most of his life. He recorded for the Library of Congress in 1977 which has fifty two works by him.
Before his death in 1984 he was also nominated for the Nobel Prize.