Perveen Shakir was born in 1952 in a religious family where the emphasis was on education, simplicity and sharing. Although her family observed purdah, Perveen was exempted of this because of her father's liberal approach. She started her education from Rizariya Girls School in Karachi. By the time she entered Sir Syed College, she was aware of the great classics. At that time, she started her career by writing essays and soon became popular in the press. When her college was celebrating Defence Day in 1968, Perveen was asked to compose a poem for the occasion. After much difficulty, she succeeded, and that was how she accidentally entered the world of Urdu poetry She was a teacher for nine years before she joined the Civil Service and worked in the Customs department. In 1986 she was appointed the second secretary, CBR in Islamabad. A number of books of her poetry have been published. In chronological order, they are Khushboo (1976), Sad-barg (1980), Khud-kalaami (1990), Inkaar (1990) and Maah-e-Tamaam (1994). Her first book, Khushboo, won the Adamjee award. Later she was awarded the Pride of Performance award, which is the highest award given by the Pakistan government. In the beginning her father did not approve of her writing poetry because he knew that she would not pay attention to her studies, but for Perveen there was no turning back. She kept participating in inter-collegiate contests, winning trophies, and reciting her poems at radio. During this time she sent two of her ghazals to her favourite poet, Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi, who was publishing a literary magazine Fanoon. He not only published her poems but also encouraged her to continue. Her first collection of poetry, "Khushboo”, established her reputation, and the book went through three edition in a month. This was followed by three other successful collections, "Sadberg", "Khudkalami" and "Inkar". After passing the central superior services examination, she was appointed in the Customs Department. She also visited the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where she received a scholarship in 1990. She also taught South Asian history, politics and film for two semesters at the University of Hartford. Perveen begins her poetic journey from the immediate and personally centred vision of human and natural reality. Intensity and clarity of image are the two qualities which strike the reader at once in her earliest poems. Parveen Shakir initially wrote under the pen-name of 'Beena'. She considered Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi her 'ustad' and used to called him 'Ammujaan'. She was married to Dr. Nasir Ahmed but got divorced from him sometime before her untimely demise in 1994. They had one son - Murad Ali.Her last book "Mahe-i-Tamam" was published a couple of months before her death.