worked for the United Nations and the Center for non Afghan Refugees in
What the literary world is saying about Echoes in Exile
Sheema Kalbasi's poems
attest to our tragic situation in which exile becomes a privileged position for
pointing out the prevalent injustice of displacement. Her deeply engaging and
reflective poems allow us to wrest away the very idea of homecoming in a world
that denies it.
- Dr. Peyman Vahabzadeh, Department of Sociology
Sheema Kalbasi's poems speak of love, loss, and life in exile. They are the poems of a human rights activist passionate with the hope of peace.
Kalbasi's poetry exposes the deep heart of a woman who is compassionate with suffering and full of the joy of life, of the innocence of a child, the knowledge of a woman, the aspirations of a peacemaker. These are stirring poems with a worldly view, both accessible and imaginative. They make an excellent cross-cultural exchange that demonstrates our universal humanity.
American book award winning author of WOMEN ON WAR: INTERNATIONAL WRITINGS.
In her poem,
slips the shelves and shadows
of her new found friends within
the walls of her nights dream before another
summer-morning lights the start of the day
and through this steady music and bright vision we enter the world of a fine poet, who, like her daughter, dances among, and slips the shadows and shelves of both her heritage and her new home to become something startlingly fresh and vibrant. A beautiful book. An important new voice.
- Dr. Joel B. Peckham, Jr ., Department of American Literature, University of Cincinnati, Clermont College, author of Night walking, and Asleep at the Wheel
Through compassion and wisdom she weaves the world together with her vivid words. World history is not national, it is international, and in her words, I found traces of my history, my life, my grief, and my desires. Sheema, a world citizen, shows in this powerful book, that just as the Earth is gold at its core, moving hot liquid, she does too.
poet, editor of the Book of Hope (including works by His Holiness The
There are honest & hard won poems here. They speak of pain & cruelty & loss, the very elements that separate us from each other - to our mutual sorrow. There is also love & hope for redemption. Heartfelt & true.
- Roger Aplon, poet, writer, Latest Collections: The Man with His Back to the Room & Intimacies
Sheema Kalbasi belongs to that world-wide community of the passionate and caring, who write of exile, injustice and desire.
-- Wayne Amtzis, poet, photographer, and editor
Kalbasi's poetry is generous and abundantly human, passionate and compassionate.
-- Jimmy Santiago
Baca, award winning poet, and author of Immigrants in Our
In an age of extremes, be they from the right or the left, from any and all religions, it is rare to hear a voice of reason, mature and graceful. Sheema Kalbasi has that voice. Echoes in Exile is a cry in the wilderness, an oratorio Kalbasi says she needs to "write to keep nothing from overloading nothing." We learn more about the world in these poems, and thus, about ourselves.
-Daniel Y. Harris, M. Div, lecturer, essayist, poet, and translator
Sheema Kalbasi's debut collection documents her struggle to confront the past and absorb a new culture. Born in Iran and now living in the United States, she handles complex threads of the Middle Eastern tapestry (which she refers to in "Kaddish" as God's "bloody sore") and weaves her own vivid fabric within it. Part chronicle of losses, self-doubt, and of what is retained (family), part polemic against an oppressive past and quest for her own identity, Kalbasi's concluding account of a passionate interlude reveals her evolving consciousness.
- D. H. MELHEM author
Kalbasi's remarkably open volume of poetry, Echoes in Exile, dwells on justice,
humanity, a "sublime divine" love for her daughter and mother (beautifully
rendered in "Mama in the War"), an affair gone awry, seasons, a revolution lived
through, exile, and loss.
"I am not good in the game of heart. I am a simple girl...I said. /he said: Sheema....."
"I write what you can't write my name: Sheema
... I will never influence my child the way I was influenced by the World events.
I will be telling her the story of a kiss by a leaf descending on the skin of a sleeping beauty in the gardens of
- Katayoon Zandvakili
... Payvand News - 12/18/06 ... --