Tir 25 1399 - July 15 2020
50 Inspiring Iranian Women, a book beautifully illustrated by Roshi Rouzbehani

Within just 12 hours of launching her Kickstarter campaign to bring her book to life celebrating 50 remarkable Iranian women, London-based illustrator Roshi Rouzbehani more than reached her target. The illustrated biography pays tribute to Iranian women who have played significant roles in art, science, sport, education and philanthropy. -Katy Cowan, Creative Boom 7/15/20

THE BROAD STAGE AT HOME Presents Red Hen Press Poetry Hour

On Thursday July 16 at 6 pm PT, a program entitled Finding Truths and Creating Art in Exile features Award-winning playwrights Iranian-American Sholeh Wolpe and Iranian Nassim Soleimanpour. Soleimanpour's most recent play Nassim will be performed in The Broad Stage 2020/21 season in April 2021. -Broadway World 7/9/20

Being brown in America: Stories of exile, identity and belonging

Written over a period of more than 10 years, Porochista Khakpour's collection of essays, Brown Album, is a reckoning with what it means to be an Iranian in America today. An acclaimed novelist, Porochista Khakpour launched onto the literary scene with her novels Sons and Other Flammable Objects (2007) and The Last Illusion (2014). -Iman Sultan, Middle East Eye 7/2/20

The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree review - magic realism in Iran

Revolutionary Guards pull a family off the road to check for forbidden items in their silver Buick; they find neither alcohol nor music but Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. After passing the copy around, they conclude that "politically, it was not a dangerous book". The censors have been less forgiving of Shokoofeh Azar's first novel for adults, which was banned in Iran, though many copies have been printed underground. It is now on the shortlist for the 2020 International Booker prize - a first for fiction translated from Farsi. -Maya Jaggi, Guardian 6/5/20

Rewriting Hafez: Re-theorizing Untranslatability in Persian Poetry

Near Eastern thinkers, perhaps as early as al-Jaḥiẓ, the eighth century Arab writer and polemicist, have commented on the problem of literary translation, particularly concerning poetry. While al-Jaḥiẓ points to broad challenges encountered in translating lyrical poetry, he gives more weight to translation as an end result, characterized by various layers of loss consequent to this linguistic transfer. One implication of reading translation merely as a product is to indict translation as an intellectual enterprise-as often has been done-and place it within the reductionist model of "betrayal" versus "faithfulness." -Aria Fani, Ajam 5/27/20

Brown Album by Porochista Khakpour review: a question of self-discovery

New York-based Khakpour is the author of two novels, Sons and Other Flammable Objects (2007) and The Last Illusion (2014), and a memoir about illness, Sick (2014). Brown Album brings together a number of her autobiographical essays about being an Iranian American in the 21st century, which first appeared in publications such as the New York Times and Salon. They tell a fairly typical first-generation immigrant story of identity confusion and gradual self-discovery. -Houman Barekat, Guardian 5/22/20

Why isn't Arab literature popular in Iran?

One day during the war with Iran, an Iraqi Army newspaper editor receives a handwritten manuscript from a low-ranking soldier on the frontline. He is astonished by what he finds: a literary masterpiece. When he learns that the soldier was killed on the battlefield, the editor publishes the story under his own name. He wins praises from every corner of the world for it. But then, he begins to receive a torrent of extraordinary stories from the same soldier who was supposedly killed in the war... This is one of my favorite stories by the renowned Iraqi writer Hassan Blasim, from his collection of short stories, The Corpse Exhibition: And Other Stories of Iraq. -Farnaz Seifi, Middle East Institute 5/15/20

Top 10 books about Iran

Iran is an ancient country with a complex people, among them some of the greatest poets who ever lived. Sadly, the Iranian novel has yet to reach the popularity of the country's poetry. This is perhaps because there is something enigmatic about how Persian prose is written, often using surrealism and magical realism to mimic the playfulness in its poetry. No matter what Iranians do, even if they write historical textbooks, it seems they can never shed the poetic touch. -Nazanine Hozar, Guardian 5/14/20

Iran marks National Day of Saadi Shirazi, the Master of Speech

Today is the National Commemoration Day of the renowned Persian poet Saadi Shirazi, born in Shiraz around 1200 and died around 1292. Abu-Muhammad Muslih al-Din bin Abdallah Shirazi, known by his pen-name Saadi, was one of the major Persian poets of the medieval period. Saadi is known as a mystic and metaphysician in the history of Persian literature. He is recognized for the quality of his writings and for the depth of his social and moral thoughts.-Morteza Rahmani, Tehran Times 4/21/20

Lessons on humanity from Persian literature

All of Iran's celebrations this year to mark Sadi Day on April 20 will be organized online due to the COVID-19 disaster. Persian poet Sadi was introduced to the generation of Iranians that are now in their fifties with the following verses at the primary school age: The sons of Adam are limbs of each other / Having been created of one essence / When the calamity of time afflicts one limb / The other limbs cannot remain at rest.... -Seyyed Mostafa Mousavi Sabet 4/20/20

He Tried to Change the System, Then Became It

Dalia Sofer, who was raised in an Iranian Jewish family that left for the United States when she was 11, explored the years shortly after the revolution in her first novel, "The Septembers of Shiraz" (2007). She takes a much longer view in her follow-up, a layered portrayal of a man who through several decades has carried with him the conflicting pieces - beauty and brutality, revolt and repression - of his country's history. -Rebecca Makkai, New York Times 4/14/20

BOOK REVIEW: How the first generation of Iran's Revolutionary Guard became its most important source of reform

Days after the vote but before Iran's Supreme Leader sanctioned the results of the disputed 2009 presidential elections and unleashed the full weight of the state against millions of demonstrators, Mohammad Ahmadi was already on his third protest march, committed to participating in the Green Movement for the duration. For Ahmadi, one of several veterans featured in Narges Bajoghli's marvelous debut book, "Iran Reframed: Anxieties of Power in the Islamic Republic," the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came as a devastating blow. -Shervin Malekzadeh, Responsible Statecraft 3/31/20

Reckoning with an Uncertain Future in Iran, and Outside It

My mother loves anecdotes, witty sayings, and little old tales that teach a life lesson. A favorite comes from her father, whom she loved dearly. The saying shows the imprint of a life lived in the Iranian countryside, under the rule of mercurial authorities: When you go to fill your water jugs, dip both in the stream at the same time. Otherwise, by the time one is filled, they might not let you use the stream anymore. -Ali Araghi, New Yorker 3/16/20

THE RUMI PRESCRIPTION: How an Ancient Mystic Poet Changed My Modern Manic Life

A compelling cultural, spiritual and literary memoir, THE RUMI PRESCRIPTION is inspired by and sprinkled with new original translations of one of the finest mystic poets of all time. It is at once a smart and tender father-daughter story, an intriguing tale of spiritual pilgrimage, a delightfully eccentric self-help manual, and an inspiring account of hope and survival through the healing power of love and poetry. 3/4/20

Iranian refugee Shokoofeh Azar longlisted for Booker International

When Shokoofeh Azar was a teenager in Tehran she often dreamed about winning the Booker Prize. When the winning books were translated into Farsi, she would devour them. "I followed all of the Booker Prize winners," she says, "and always wanted to win the Booker one day." -Jason Steger, SMH 2/28/20

How a Persian Mystic Poet Changed My Life

Five years ago, in an act of creative desperation, I decided to immerse myself in the classical Persian poetry I grew up taking for granted. I aimed to learn it by heart and under the expert tutelage of my father, a physician by trade and a connoisseur of Sufi poetry by tradition. For my father, nothing is more sacred than poetry - specifically the mystical poetry of Rumi. -Melody Moezzi, New York Times 2/27/20

2020: Millennium of Persian Poet Ferdowsi

Anniversaries are important; they celebrate legacies and signify presence and continuity. This year, 2020, marks the 1000th anniversary of Ferdowsi's death. This renowned Persian poet died at age 81 in 1020, more than five centuries before Shakespeare was born. Ferdowsi has not only endured for a thousand years but has also defined the very identity and language of his own country - Iran. This is, indeed, a great achievement for a poet or for any person, for that matter. -Rasoul Shams 1/13/20

Book: Tappeh Sialk, The Glory Of Ancient Kashan

Tappeh Sialk on the outskirts of modern Kashan is arguably the most important ancient site in Iran before the rise of the Persian Empire in 550 BCE. Excavations here in the 1930s by a French team and by Iranian teams from 2000 AD onwards have cast light on the history of Iran from 6000 BCE onwards, spanning the Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age periods. 12/16/19

Axis of hope

In her new book, Axis of Hope: Iranian Women's Rights Activism across Borders (University of Washington Press, 2019), Catherine Sameh, assistant professor of gender and sexuality studies at the University of California, Irvine, shares the stories and practices of women's human rights activists both inside and outside of Iran. -UCI 12/5/19

So Long, Literary Giants! Iran Revamps Its Textbooks

Omar Khayyam is considered a giant of Persian poetry. His poems have been part of Iran's school curriculum for years. Yet students will reportedly no longer be able to read his rubaiyat in textbooks under a new plan. Students are instead likely to learn about the life of an Iranian fighter killed in Syria, where the Islamic republic has helped prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime during the country's eight-year civil war. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 11/12/19

Renowned Persian Poet Mazaher Mosaffa Dies At 87

Persian poet Mazaher Mosaffa, mostly famous for his odes, died of natural causes at his home in Tehran on Thursday October 31, 2019. He was 87. Mosaffa is considered as one of the few most outstanding ode composers in contemporary Persian literature. 11/5/19

Germany to celebrate 200th anniversary of Goethe's "West-East Divan" in Shiraz

Germany will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's "West-East Divan" during a festival in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, home to the mausoleum of Persian poet Hafez who influenced Goethe's collection. 10/31/19

Iran Prevents Public Commemoration At Grave Of Celebrated Poet Ahmad Shamlou

Iranian security forces have prevented devotees of fans of late poet Ahmad Shamlou, who pushed for greater freedoms and had some of his work banned under successive governments, from marking the 18th anniversary of his death. 7/26/19

Banned Works at Tehran Book Fair Highlight Iran's Corrosive Censorship Policies

Several books by dissident authors in Iran were banned from the 32nd Tehran International Book Fair by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. They include the late Kourosh Asadi's novel, Kucheye Abrhaye Gom Shodeh; Kayhan Khanjani's novel, Bande Mahkoumin; E'dam va Qesas by civil rights columnist Emad Baghi; Dine Dowlati va Dowlate Dini by Mohammad Ghouchani; Roshanfekri Dini va Chaleshhaye Jadid by Iran's late Foreign Minister Mohammad Yazdi; and Faqihan va Enghelabe Iran by Hadi Tabatabaie. -CHRI 5/1/19

Iran Celebrates National Day Of Poet Sadi

Persian literature aficionados and literati from across Iran came together at the mausoleum of Persian poet Sadi in Shiraz on Sunday to celebrate Sadi National Day. Sheikh Muslih od-Din Sadi Shirazi (Born 1184 CE, Died 1283/1291 CE) was one of the major Persian poets of the medieval period. He is not only famous in Persian-speaking countries, but he has also been quoted in western sources. 4/22/19

1,000 Years of Literary Tradition in Rare Persian-Language Manuscripts Now Online at Library of Congress

In celebration of the Persian New Year, also known as Norooz, the Library of Congress has digitized and made available online for the first time the Rare Persian-Language Manuscript Collection, which sheds light on scientific, religious, philosophical and literary topics that are highly valued in the Persian speaking lands. 4/4/19

PHOTOS: Iranians celebrate Persian New Year Norooz at Tomb of Poet Hafez

Iranians gathered at the Tomb of Hafez in Shiraz, Fars province, last night to celebrate Persian New Year, Norooz. The vernal equinox which took place at 1:28 AM local time marked the start of spring and Norooz holidays in Iran. Shiraz is known as the City of Poets, Literature, Wine and Flowers. -Mohammad Ali Haqshenas 3/21/19

Triumph of Self-Empowerment over Darkened Despotic Tyranny

Legend has it that once upon a distant past juncture, ZaHawk a mythological, tyrannical, unjust, and cruel despot, ruled over Persia. Confiscating an ambivalent hiatus with his absolute power, he crowned himself on the Persian peacock throne as if he was immortal and anointed by an imaginary vengeful supreme. He reigned with iron fist, suffocating people with hegemony and heavy taxations over the vast Persian Empire to the fatal detriment of most inhabitants he mistreated as his serfs and slaves. -Davood N. Rahni 3/5/19

Iranian satirist Abolfazl Zarui, known as modern Zakani, dies at 49

Abolfazl Zarui Nasrabad, an Iranian satirist who became known as the modern Obayd Zakani due to the close similarity of his satires to those created by the renowned 14th-century poet, has passed away. He was 49. -Tehran Times 12/3/18

Iran's fascinating way to tell fortunes

The tradition of fal-e Hafez (which roughly translates to 'divination via Hafez') has been practised in Iran - and elsewhere in the Persian-speaking world, such as Afghanistan - for centuries. The tradition involves consulting the poet Hafez - known as Lesan ol Gheyb ('Tongue of the Unseen') - for questions about the future, as well as guidance regarding difficult decisions and dilemmas. -Joobin Bekhrad, BBC 10/24/18

Swedish Academy, Which Awards Nobel In Literature, Elects Iranian-Born Poet As Member

The Swedish Academy on October 5 announced it had elected an Iranian-born poet and a Swedish judge as new members in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal that forced it to postpone awarding a Nobel prize in literature this year. 10/6/18

The Book of Kings: The book that defines Iranians

Completed by Abolqasem Ferdowsi in the early 11th Century, the Shahnameh (Book of Kings) is not only a literary masterpiece, but also a book that has for centuries helped define Iran and the Iranian peoples, as well as safeguard the existence of the Persian language. -Joobin Bekhrad, BBC 8/17/18

50 Years Later, Security Forces Are Still Trying to Silence the Iranian Writers Association

Police and security forces blocked an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the anti-censorship Iranian Writers Association (IWA) by raiding the home in Tehran where it was supposed to be held on May 25, 2018. 5/30/18

Iran Security Agents Prevent 50th Anniversary of Writers Association

Iranian security forces on Friday May 25 prevented the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Writers Association, the oldest and most prestigious trade union for Iranian writers. Upholding human rights, organizing Iranian writers and campaigning against censorship are the focal points of the Iranian Writers Association's activities. 5/27/18

New book SOFREH: Take a journey in words and images through the culture of Persian celebration

SOFREH: The Art of Persian Celebration is a journey in words and images through the culture of Persian celebrations. Never before have the splendour and beauty of these ancient traditions been presented in such an intricate and novel fashion. Sofreh, Persian for spread, is the focal point of the celebrations. These two lavishly illustrated volumes devoted to compositions created for the Persian New Year and marriage ceremonies are beautifully presented and richly documented. 3/12/18

Book Review: The Gardens of Consolation by Author Parisa Reza

The "Gardens of Consolation" is a poignant family tale of love, survival and shattered dreams set against the backdrop of a nation's struggle for independence. Seen through the eyes of one rural family, the Aminis, this novel is a prequal to a saga which spans over a century. -Darius Kadivar 2/13/18

Crowdfunding for publications of Samin Baghcheban's compositions

March 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of Samin Baghcheban's demise in exile. On the occasion of the anniversary, the Baghcheban family is willing to publish a collection of Samin's vocal pieces which were composed in the 1950s and currently are not available to the public. 1/7/18

Book Review: Dreams of a forgotten childhood in Shiraz

Author Cyrus Kadivar gives us a fascinating account of the last days of Pahlavi rule in Iran in his new book, "Farewell Shiraz: An Iranian Memoir of Revolution and Exile." He left Iran at the age of 16, during the 1979 revolution, for a life of exile -Lisa Kaaki, Arab News 12/27/17

Behind Closed Curtains: Interior Design in Iran - Book Presentation by Lena Spath

Author Lena Spath has captured the beauty, intricacy, and vibrancy of Iranian interior design in order to showcase its underrated style in her new book Behind Closed Curtains: Interior Design in Iran. "I want to challenge the narrative on Iran most media companies follow. This book is my way to bring the country's history and the stories of its citizens into the homes and the hands of more people." 12/22/17

A Bridge Taken for a Wall, a Wall Taken for a Bridge: On Persian Art, Poetry, and Translation

Event on December 7, 2017 at Stanford University: Jahan Ramazani is University Professor and Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English at the University of Virginia. He is currently writing a book on poetry in a global age. This talk on poetry, art, and East-West translation ranges from ancient Iran to medieval Byzantium and the Abbasid era to modern Iran and Ireland. 11/20/17

10th Annual Bita Prize for Persian Arts: Marjane Satrapi

We are very pleased to announce that the recipient of the Tenth Bita Prize for Persian Arts is Ms. Marjane Satrapi. She is the author of Persepolis, Persepolis 2, Embroideries, Chicken with Plums, and several children's books. She co-wrote and co-directed the animated feature film version of Persepolis, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. She regularly contributes to magazines and newspapers throughout the world. 11/9/17

Meet The Author: CYRUS KADIVAR

Born in Minnesota to Iranian-French parents, Cyrus Kadivar grew up during the Shah's reign in the Persian city of Shiraz. At sixteen he and his family were uprooted by the 1979 revolution. He has since worked as a banker, freelance journalist, and political risk consultant and lives in London. The AUC Press just published his book Farewell Shiraz: An Iranian Memoir of Revolution and Exile. -American University in Cairo Press 10/12/17

Iranian Baha'i Poet Named PEN International Writer Of Courage

Baha'i poet Mahvash Sabet, who was jailed for nearly a decade in Iran, has been selected as the 2017 International Writer of Courage. Northern Ireland poet Michael Longley named Sabet at the PEN Pinter Prize ceremony at the British Library in London on October 10. 10/11/17

Persian Poetry Day marked in Iran

Iranians have marked the Persian Poetry Day, which is also the anniversary of the passing of renowned Iranian poet Mohammad Hossein Behjat Tabrizi, better known by his pen name, Shahriar. An event was held Monday at the Maqbaratoshoara, or the Tomb of Poets, in the city of Tabriz, in East Azerbaijan Province, where Shahriar is buried. 9/18/17

Italian scholars publish book on Iranian architecture

Three Italian scholars have published their latest research on Iranian architecture in a book titled "Through Iran: Cities, Architecture, Landscapes" (Attraverso l'Iran. Citta, architetture, paesaggi). Manfredi Edizioni in the Italian city Imola is the publisher of the book, which carries materials that Alessandra De Cesaris, Giorgio Di Giorgio and Laura Valeria Ferretti gathered about Iranian architecture during several trips to the country since 2010. 9/18/17

An Iranian bookstore in Westwood closes after 36 years

Westwood's Iranian bookstore Ketab Corp. closed its doors last week after 36 years in business. The shop on Westwood Boulevard held roughly 85% Persian titles as well as books in English about Iran, said owner Bijan Khalili, who in a phone call described his customer base as "Persians and those Americans that are interested in Persian culture" in a phone call. -Agatha French, Los Angeles TImes 8/31/17

Farewell Shiraz: An Iranian Memoir of Revolution and Exile

In October 1999 during a trip to Cairo, Cyrus Kadivar, an exiled Iranian living in London, visited the tomb of the last shah and opened a Pandora's box. Haunted by nostalgia for a bygone era, he recalled a protected and idyllic childhood in the fabled city of Shiraz and his coming of age during the 1979 Iranian revolution. Back in London, he reflected on what had happened to him and his family after their uprooting and decided to conduct his own investigation into why he lost his country. 7/20/17

Shahnameh audiobook, with introduction by Francis Ford Coppola, released

An audio version of the Shahnameh, the epic masterpiece of Persian poet Ferdowsi, has been released in English with an introduction by U.S. filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola in the United States. American voice actor Marc Thompson has narrated the stories based on the latest translation by Ahmad Sadri published by Quantuck Lane Press in 2013, Kingorama, the U.S.-based publisher of "Shahnameh, the Epic of the Persian Kings", has announced. 7/17/17

Book Review: Losing an Enemy

Trita Parsi has written a great book about what remains the most outstanding diplomatic feat of the 21st century. It is the first work to describe in detail the whole course of the extraordinarily complex international negotiation that led to the conclusion in Vienna on July 14, 2015 of the now famous Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA-the arrangement between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, UK, US), plus Germany to cap Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic. -Francois Nicoulaud 7/6/17

Book Review: "The Desire Principle" by Saideh Pakravan

Sarah Bly, a promising young artist, is about to break up with Ryan, her abusive boyfriend, when she set's eyes on Thaddeus Clark, a senior charismatic Art collector, as he enters a New York Art Gallery where her works are exhibited. As if struck by cupid's arrow, she seems overwhelmed by an inexplicable chest pain which commands her to leave the varnishing. Although puzzled by her strange behavior, Thaddeus nevertheless purchases two of her paintings... -Book Review by Darius KADIVAR 7/5/17

Book: A Social Revolution: Politics and the Welfare State in Iran

For decades, political observers and pundits have characterized the Islamic Republic of Iran as an ideologically rigid state on the verge of collapse, exclusively connected to a narrow social base. In A Social Revolution, Kevan Harris convincingly demonstrates how they are wrong. Previous studies ignore the forceful consequences of three decades of social change following the 1979 revolution. 6/26/17

14th-century Persian poet Hafez a guide for today's Iranian-Canadians

Hafez, the 14th-century Persian poet, still draws a crowd, if the hundreds of Iranians gathering this weekend for several presentations are any evidence. Nasser Kanani, an expert in electrochemistry, is the guest speaker, better known in engineering circles for his textbook on electroplating, rather than his recently-published two-volume study of the poet called Hafez and His Divan As Viewed By the West. Mohandez, the Canadian society of Iranian engineers and architects, sponsored Kanani's lectures at Toronto's Aga Khan Museum and an Iranian community centre -CBC 5/13/17

Book Launch and Reception - The Art of Altruism: Koorosh Shishegaran by Dr Hamid Keshmirshekan

Wednesday 26th April, 18 in London - Dr Hamid Keshmirshekan will give a brief presentation about his latest book, which looks at the work of acclaimed Iranian artist Koorosh Shishegaran, followed by a short film on Shishegaran's oeuvre. 4/6/17

Book: Norooz with My Family

A new book on Norooz, the Persian New Year, authored by Dr. Khodadad Kaviani: A sister and her brother share with classmates their Norooz (New Year) experiences. They live in Yazd, Iran, the city of beautiful wind catchers. They talk about spring cleaning, carpet washing, chaarshanbeh soori, preparing the Haft-Seen, plus other activities during this festive time of year. 2/22/17

Rumi Poetry Club is celebrating its 10th Anniversary

Mowlana Jalaluddin Balkhi Rumi (1207-1273) is one of the top five Persian poets of all time and also arguably the greatest Persian Sufi poet in history. His two masterpieces, the Divan-e Shams and the Masnavi-e Ma'anavi, are rich reservoirs of perennial wisdom and love poetry in world literature. 1/24/17

The mystical poet who can help you lead a better life

The mystical poet who can help you lead a better life The 14th-Century Persian poet Hafiz's work is not just very beautiful - it is useful too. Hafiz can teach us how to get the most out of our lives, writes Daniel Ladinsky. -BBC 1/10/17

Yasmin Khan's "The Saffron Tales: Recipes From the Persian Kitchen"

Armed with little more than a notebook and a bottle of pomegranate molasses, British-Iranian cook Yasmin Khan traversed Iran in search of the country's most delicious recipes. Her quest took her from the snowy mountains of Tabriz and the paddyfields of Gilan to the cosmopolitan cafes of Tehran and the pomegranate orchards of Isfahan, where she was welcomed into the homes of artists, farmers, electricians and teachers. Through her travels, she gained a unique insight into the culinary secrets of the Persian kitchen and the lives of ordinary Iranians today. 12/27/16

Dr. Homayoon Shidnia and Persian Manuscript Studies in the US

Last Thursday, December 8, 2016, the Persian manuscript tradition lost its greatest patron in the West. Professor Homayoon Shidnia (1930-2016), who passed away in Indianapolis organized the small but culturally influential Iranian community of Indiana and created the non-profit Foundation for the Preservation of Persian Manuscripts nearly two decades ago. -Dr. Mahmoud Omidsalar 12/15/16

"The Time and Life of Ahmad Kasravi": New Book by Mohammad Amini

Ahmad Kasravi (1890-1946) was one of the most famous outspoken critics of Islam in 20th-century Persia [Iran]. He was killed in 1946 by an extremist Shia group named "Devoters of Islam" in Tehran. Seventy years after his assassination, the historian Mohammad Amini has written a book about Kasravi's life and ideas. 11/16/16

Sense of mission leads young artist in way to promote Persian literature

Young calligrapher Amir Jalilvand, who is also a prominent photographer, talks about a sense of responsibility that leads him in a way to promote contemporary Persian literature in Iran today. He believes that Iranians, many of whom nowadays have an academic education, are suffering from a dearth of minimum knowledge of their literature. -Seyyed Mostafa Mousavi Sabet 10/27/16

Ramblings of an Iranian Wino

I was at that little hole in the wall again, as usual. I winced at the sensation of cool droplets trickling down my back and sides, yet didn't doff my tweed blazer or the green scarf tossed around my neck in beggarly fashion; somehow, they seemed to complement the mood of the evening. If you listened hard enough, you could hear, amongst the clanking of bottles and boorish banter, the Kinks playing on the stereo. -Joobin Bekhrad, Reorient 9/16/16

BOOK: The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran

An immersive, gripping account of the rise and fall of Iran's glamorous Pahlavi dynasty, written with the cooperation of the late Shah's widow, Empress Farah, Iranian revolutionaries and US officials from the Carter administration 8/25/16

Author Shares Persian Culture At Rockville Library

Author Pari Forood spoke at the Rockville Public Library on July 28, about her book, The Gates of Light, which is an account of her experiences growing up with an Iranian father, as well as with her part in helping a relative escape the compulsory draft in Iran during that country's war with Iraq in the 1980s. -Courant Community 8/14/16

Complex view of Islam found in poetry of Iran, Stanford researcher shows

In a study of Persian literature, Stanford religious studies scholar Ahoo Najafian describes the role of poetry in the context of modernity in Iran. Ironically, those by the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini spoke out against established, strict religion. -Stanford News 7/18/16

Solmaz Sharif and the poetics of a new American generation

Step gently on words such as "home" or "citizen" or even "body" with a foot born elsewhere and they combust. Place names are even more incendiary. What happens when we read BEIRUT or TEHRAN or SAIGON while sitting at a cafe in Santa Monica? This is war's lexicon. It incorporates and redefines, especially by naming... -hn Freeman, Los Angeles Times 7/18/16

English Translation of "Charand-o Parand" Published: Revolutionary Satire from Iran, 1907-1909

For the first time ever, Charand-o Parand (Stuff and Nonsense), a classic of Modern Persian literature and political satire, is now available in English. Translated by two distinguished scholars of Persian language and history, Janet Afary and John R. Perry, this volume makes Dehkhoda's entertaining political observations accessible to scholars of Iranian history, as well as all English readers interested in great literature. 7/6/16

Statue of Persian poet Omar Khayyam unveiled at the University of Oklahoma

On March 30, 2016, the University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren announced a $4 million gift for the College of International Studies, and the establishment of a new center for Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies. At the announcement, Boren also unveiled one of OU's newest pieces of artwork, "Omar Khayyam," inspired by the Persian polymath, mathematician, astronomer, philosopher and poet of the Islamic Golden Age. 4/25/16

Spring streams through Persian poetry

Spring has always been the focus of Persian poets in various historical periods of Persian poetry and no poet can be found in Persian literature, who does not make direct reference or allusion to the season, which begins with Norooz, the Iranian celebration of the New Year. 4/5/16

Poet Fatemeh Shams takes on politics in post-revolution Iran

Fatemeh Shams and Dick Davis have never met in person. She is a young Iranian poet living in London, a voice of Iran's post-revolution dissident. He is a medievalist translator and poet who lives more than 3,000 miles away in Ohio. Several years ago, after a friend showed Davis some of the poems that Shams had written, he emailed her, asking if he could translate her work from Farsi to English. -Corinne Segal, PBS 3/30/16

'I Was Becoming Afraid Of Writing': Iranian Poet Flees Because Of Crippling Censorship

To get her first book of poetry past the Iranian censor, Fatemeh Ekhtesari did what other Iranian writers often have to do: She used dots for words and sentences she thought would not get past the authorities. But Ekhtesari wasn't prepared for her voice to be silenced, so after the book was published in 2010, she wrote the words back in herself and sent copies to her friends. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE 2/21/16

In Iran, A Poet's 700-Year-Old Verses Still Set Hearts Aflame

Just ahead of Valentine's Day, we visited the tomb of a poet who wrote often of love. The 14th century Persian poet Hafez is buried in Shiraz, the city where he lived almost 700 years ago. He remains venerated in Iran, even though he wrote of romance and other topics that are not obviously embraced in the modern-day Islamic Republic. One of his lines: "Oh Cup-bearer, set my glass afire with the light of wine!" -Steve Inskeep, NPR 2/13/16

Tales of exile and of home: Iranian diaspora in literature

When I was at university studying English literature, I took an interest in diasporic and migrant writings. Authors from India, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean all told the same kind of stories of exile and resettlement. Their books raised a shared set of concerns, reflecting homelessness, loss and attempts to reconstruct identity. -Sanaz Fotouhi, Guardian 2/11/16

Young Iranian poet, Hila Sedighi, released on bail

Iranian poet Hila Sedighi, who was arrested this week at Imam Khomeini Airport upon arriving in Tehran, was released on bail on Saturday January 9. The Kaleme website reported the arrest of the young poet, saying she had apparently been sentenced in absentia. 1/11/16

Young Poet Hila Sedighi Arrested at Airport in Tehran, Latest in String of Arrests

The poet and civil activist Hila Sedighi was arrested at Imam Khomeini International Airport on January 7, 2016, as she and her husband returned from a trip to the United Arab Emirates, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has learned. 1/9/16

Iranian children's book author receives Gold Medals

Children's Literary Classics (CLC) announced that the children's book, Naji and the Mystery of the Dig , by Vahid Imani, is the 2015 recipient of the golden seal in three different categories 1/7/16

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