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The Scar Saloon: A collection of poetry by Iranian born writer and translator, Sholeh Wolpé


This year among its many literary offerings Red Hen Press in Los Angeles California released The Scar Saloon, a collection of poetry by Iranian born writer and translator, Sholeh Wolpé. Sholeh was born in Iran but spent most of her teen years in the Caribbean and Europe, ending up in the U.S. where she pursued Masters degrees in Radio-TV-Film (Northwestern University) and Public Health (Johns Hopkins University). Her poems, translations and reviews have been published in many literary journals, periodicals and anthologies in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Her CD, poems read to a background of Persian music, is due for release this September.


Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate (2001-2003) says this about Sholeh and The Scar Saloon: "In a world where cultures and religions are recklessly facing off, Sholeh Wolpé writes careful poems that cast a light on some of what we all hold in common."


Chris Abani, prize-winning novelist and poet praises The Scars Saloon's power of empathy. According to Abani, "Sholeh Wolpé's poems are political, satirical, and unflinching in the face of war, tyranny and loss. Talismanic and alchemical, they attempt to transmute experience into the magic of the imagined. But they also dare to be tender and funny lyrical moments. This book is remarkable and unexpected."


Charles Harper Webb, author of Liver (winner of the Felix Pollak Prize) and Tulip Farms and Leper Colonies writes, "The Scar Saloon is a humane and compassionate book in which horror is balanced by love, pain by pleasure, denial by sensuality, seriousness with humor.  Many of the poems are set in the Middle East, but Sholeh Wolpé is clearly a poet of the world.


Sholeh is the recipient of several awards for her poetry and is the director and host of Poetry at the Loft, a successful cultural arts venue in Southern California. She is also in the midst of translating work by Zoya Pirzad and a collection of selected poems by Forough Farrokhzad, arguably the most significant Iranian female poet of the twentieth century.


The Scar Saloon can be purchased at any independent bookstore, through online stores such as and, and directly through Red Hen Press.  For more information on Sholeh Wolpé visit


... Payvand News - 8/18/05 ... --

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