She started writing at an early age and published her first volume of poetry, Khushbu , to great acclaim, in 1976 and won Pakistan’s Adamjee Award. She subsequently published Sad-barg, Khud kalami, Inkaar, Maah-e-Tamam and Kaf-e-Aa’ina all to great acclaim, besides a collection of her newspaper columns, titled Gosha-e-Chashm, and was awarded one of Pakistan’s highest honours, the Pride of Performance for her
Shakir’s poetry was well-received, and after her untimely death she is now considered one of the best and “most prominent” modern poets Urdu language has ever produced. Hailed as a “great poetess,” her poetry has drawn comparisons to that of Iranian poet Forough Farrokhzad, and she is considered among the breed of writers “regarded as pioneers in defying tradition by expressing the “female experience” in Urdu poetry.
Parveen Shakir was highly educated. She received two undergraduate degrees, one in English literature and the other in linguistics, and obtained MA degrees in the same subjects from the University of Karachi. She also held a PhD. In 1982, she passed the Central Superior Services Examination and opted for the then Customs & Excise Group. Incidentally, her unique honour was a question, in the examination, on her own poetry. In 1991, she did an MA in Public Administration from Harvard University, USA.