Shareef Kunjahi was a leading writer and poet of Punjabi. He was among the first faculty members of the Department of Punjabi Language at University of Punjab in 1970 s and contributed to Punjabi literature as a poet, prose writer, teacher, research scholar, linguist, lexicographer and translator.
Shareef was born in 1915 in Kunjah, a small town of Gujrat District in Punjab. Although Shareef wrote poetry in both Urdu and Persian languages, and even made a name as an Urdu poet quite early in his writing career, Punjabi was always his first love. For an up-and-coming Muslim writer of that period, especially among the early progressive writers and poets, adopting Punjabi for his creative articulation was a rare phenomenon.
He became among the pioneers of modern Punjabi poetry from 1930s at about the same time when Prof Mohan Singh introduced secular themes and a new style in Punjabi poetry. His first collection of Punjabi poetry Jagrate (sleepless nights) was first published in Gurmukhi in East Punjab in 1958, and wasn’t published in Shahmukhi in West Punjab until 1965. It contained only 37 poems. His second anthology Orak Hondi Lou (dimming light) was published in 1995.