Thursday, April 7, 2016

Poet Profile: Fatemeh Shams

Iran-born Fatemeh Shams, Ph.D., who currently lives in exile in London, where she is employed by the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, is the author, most recently, of When They Broke Down the Door (Mage Publishers, January 2016). British poet, translator, and medievalist Dick Davis, professor emeritus of Persian, Ohio State University, translated Shams's poems from the Farsi and wrote the introduction to the new collection.

Shams, who was educated at Tehran University and received her doctoral degree in Oriental studies from Oxford University, was named best young Persian poet at the 2012 Jaleh Esfahani poetry festival in London sponsored by the Jaleh Esfahani Foundation. She was a teenager when she was awarded in 2000 a silver medal from the National Olympiad of Literature.

Shams writes in free verse and in traditional and modern poetic forms. Her most recent collection is in both Farsi and English.

Shams also is the author of the collections 88 (H&S Media, 2013) and Writing in the Mist (H&S Media, 2015); both are Persian editions. 

In addition to English, Shams's poetry has been translated into Italian and Kurdish, the latter by journalist and poet Nabaz Goran.

Listen to Dick Davis read Shams's poem "The Wager" in English:

To read the poem's text in English and in Farsi and to hear Shams read the same work, go to Corinne Segal's feature "Poet Fatemeh Shams Takes on Politics in Post-Revolution Iran", PBS NewsHour Art Beat, March 28, 2016.


Fatemeh Shams on YouTube

Fatemeh Shams Poetry Online: "Love Poem 4", "How hard it was. . .", "Never to fall asleep. . .", All at Life and Legends (Text in English and Farsi)

Dick Davis Profile at The Poetry Archive (A number of recordings are here.)

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