During the 1979 revolution, Iranians from all walks of life, whether Muslim, Jewish, Christian, socialist, or atheist, fought side-by-side to end one tyrannical regime, only to find themselves in the clutches of another. When Khomeini came to power, freedom of the press was eliminated, religious tolerance disappeared, women’s rights narrowed to fit within a conservative interpretation of the Quran, and non-Islamic music and literature were banned. Poets, writers, and artists were driven deep underground and, in many cases, out of the country altogether. This moving anthology is a testament to both the centuries-old tradition of Persian poetry and the enduring will of the Iranian people to resist injustice.
Sholeh Wolpé is an award-winning poet, literary translator and writer. Born in Iran, she has lived in England, Trinidad and the United States. She is the author of Rooftops of Tehran, The Scar Saloon, and Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad for which she was awarded the Lois Roth Translation Prize in 2010.
Sholeh is a regional editor of Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East edited by Reza Aslan, the editor of 2010 Iran issue of the Atlanta Review which became the journal's bestselling edition. She is also a contributing editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books and the poetry editor of the Levantine Review, an online journal about the Middle East.