The Bombay Review’s
Iranian Edition (Vol I of 2)
Issue 39, March; ’21
welcome to the magazine of literary things
Hello readers, writers, and you!
Welcome to The Bombay Review’s Iranian Edition (Vol I). This two volume series is part of our effort to bring international literature and new writing to The Bombay Review readers, who are largely based out of South Asia and the United States. A delicately hand picked curation of art and writing, this edition has opened the doors to larger literary cooperation with Iran, with a possible event and reading later this year.
For a long time, TBR had been planning an edition to showcase the good writing coming from or about Iran. Our initial project was scheduled for a winter 2020 release, but we were delayed because of the pandemic. Here we are finally, and look forward to your feedback. Watch out for Vol II, out soon!
The two issues are edited and compiled by Dr. Nilofar Shidmehr. Her website is here.
The cover was designed by Forough Forouzandeh, a brilliant artist and children’s book illustrator based out of Tehran. She has illustrated, exhibited, and worked on multiple projects over the years, receiving critical acclaim and awards in the domestic art circuit of Iran.
“When I migrated to Canada on Oct 30, 1997, along with my personal belongings, I also brought with me a small Iranian rug. During my first two weeks when I’d resided at the house of an old Iranian friend, it had remained in my luggage, unrolled. My friend’s house already included a few Persian carpets. I unrolled my Iranian rug only later when I moved to a room in New Westminster City which I rented from an elderly Chinese family that spoke no English. My attic room had a beige carpet, over which I spread my Iranian rug. As a new immigrant, in my first few months in Canada, I felt I had been stripped of everything that gave me an identity: my family, home, mother tongue, and job. Even my name sounded foreign in the new place, no longer providing me with an identity…”
Iranian Edition (Vol I) – Issue 39, March, 2021 (Year 8)
Golnoosh Nour teaches Creative Writing at the University of Bedfordshire and has a radio programme on Soho Radio Culture. Nour studied English Literature at Shahid Beheshti University and gained a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from Birkbeck College, University of London. Her debut short story collection The Ministry of Guidance was published in 2020, the debut poetry collection was published in 2017 and her next poetry collection Rocksong is forthcoming with the87press.
Her writing has also appeared in Granta, Poetry Anthology, and Spontaneous Poetics amongst others. Golnoosh regularly performs her work at literary events and festivals across the UK and internationally. She is the co-editor of Magma 80 and an anthology of queer writing forthcoming with Muswell Press.
In 2011, Mehrnaz Bassiri made the riskiest and most rewarding decision of her professional life: she traded her career in biotech for educational development. She is now an educator, progress specialist, and the founder of MyGradeBooster. Mehrnaz is the recipient of Futurpreneur Canada’s “The Sky’s Your Limit Entrepreneur of the Year” award and she has been featured in TED, Thrive Global, Trello, and more.
She recently published My Solitude, My Secluded Wilderness, a collection of poems that explore aloneness and healing from grief through solitude. Mehrnaz has a Masters of Science from the University of British Columbia and currently lives in North Vancouver, BC.
NASIM MARASHI was born in Tehran, Iran in 1984. She started her career in journalism in 2007 and became a screenwriter in 2013. She won the Premier Prix in Bayhaqi Story Prize (2014) for the short story “Nakhjir” and the Premier Prix in Tehran Story Prize (2015) for the short story “Rood.” Her debut novel, I’ll Be Strong for You (Cheshmeh Publications, 2015), was selected as the Best Novel of the Year in the 8th Jalal Al-e Ahmad Prize and is in its 40th printing. The book was translated in Italian and Kurdish and received great acclaim. Marashi’s second novel, Haras (Cheshmeh Publications, 2016), is in its 20th printing and has been translated into Turkish and Kurdish. Marashi is the co-writer of the feature film Avalanche (2015) and the documentary 20th Circuit Suspects (2017).
Saba Soleimany was born in Iran and is a book illustrator, painter, and jewelry designer. She has participated in numerous illustration and painting exhibitions in Iran and abroad. Saba is a member of the Iranian Illustrators Association. Since 2008, she has worked for a few domestic and foreign publishers as an illustrator.
Mojgan Ghazirad, a native of Iran, graduated from Tehran University of Medical Sciences and studied pediatrics at Inova Children’s Hospital, with a Neonatal medicine specialty from George Washington University. She currently works as an Assistant Professor of pediatrics at George Washington University NICU in Washington, DC. She has published three collections of short stories in Farsi in Iran and Europe: A Lover in White Jacket in 2012 in Iran, Turquoise Dream in 2014 in Germany, and her last collection In the Solitude of Suitcases in 2016 in the UK. Her English essays have appeared in The Best American Travel Writing 2020, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Idaho Review, Longreads, The Common, etc. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Southern New Hampshire University. Her memoir, The House on Sun Street, depicts her memories of growing in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution in 1979 and eight years of war between Iran and Iraq after the Revolution. She lives with her family in Great Falls, Virginia.
Khashayar Mohammadi is a queer, Iranian born, Toronto-based Poet, Writer, Translator and Photographer. He is the author of poetry Chapbooks “Moe’s Skin” by ZED press 2018, “Dear Kestrel” by knife | fork | book 2019 and “Solitude is an Acrobatic Act” by above/ground press 2020. His debut poetry collection “Me, You, Then Snow” is forthcoming with Gordon Hill Press.
Firoozeh Khatibi is a Los Angeles-based writer, playwright, independent journalist, actor, director and radio host. She has worked as an art critic and cultural correspondent with news outlets such as VOA, Radio Free Europe and British Broadcasting Co. Born in Tehran, studied at the New School and the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York City. She is the director of the Parviz Khatibi Cultural Foundation, publishing works of the late author and has worked as a writer, director, actor and production designer on many Iranian and non-Iranian productions.
She is the co-founder of the Iranian Theatre Society of L.A. Her latest play about the historic “Lalehzar”, was staged at Skirball Cultural Center in June of 2019. Her short stories have been published in numerous literary publications including “jonge Zaman”, “Avaye Tabeid” and “The Persian Book Review”.
Bänoo Zan is a poet, librettist, translator, teacher, editor and poetry curator, with more than 200 published poems and pieces along with three books. Song of Phoenix: Life and Works of Sylvia Plath, was reprinted in Iran in 2010. Songs of Exile, her first poetry collection, was released in 2016 in Canada by Guernica Editions. It was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award by the League of Canadian Poets in 2017. Letters to My Father, her second poetry book, was published in 2017 by Piquant Press in Canada.
She is the founder of Shab-e She’r (Poetry Night), Toronto’s most diverse poetry reading and open mic series (inception: 2012). It is a brave space that bridges the gap between communities of poets from different ethnicities, nationalities, religions (or lack thereof), ages, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities, poetic styles, voices and visions.
Majid Naficy, the Arthur Rimbaud of Persian poetry, fled Iran in 1983, a year and a half after the execution of his wife, Ezzat in Tehran. Since 1984 Majid has been living in West Los Angeles. He has published two collections of poetry in English Muddy Shoes (Beyond Baroque, Books, 1999) and Father and Son (Red Hen Press, 2003) as well as his doctoral dissertation at UCLA Modernism and Ideology in Persian Literature: A Return to Nature in the Poetry of Nima Yushij (University Press of America, 1997). Majid has also published more than twenty books of poetry and essay in Persian.
Parima Shahin Moghaddam was born in Tehran- Iran 1961, and started her artistic career at an early age of 16. She does variations of art: painting, illustration, graphic design, jewellery design, costume and set design for movies & theatre, puppet design and art direction. She has also been an art teacher for young children between ages of 3-16. Parima moved to London- UK in 1998, continuing a career as an artist with a stronger focus on jewellery making & design which she has had the opportunity to showcase in many couture and jewellery shops in London.
Parima also created workshops in design for children at the British Museum and The Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Currently, she works on a diverse range of art projects, mostly at her home studio.
Peyman Esmaeili was born in 1977 in Tehran. He graduated in Electrical engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST) in 2000 and penned his first short story collection in 2005 with Qoqnoos Publishing House: Search Your Raincoat Pockets, which won him the Isfahan Literary Award in 2006. His second book, “Snow and the Cloudy Symphony” a collection of seven stories was released in 2008 by Cheshmeh Publications and won: – Houshang Golshiri Literary Award for the best collection of short stories in 2008 – Mehrgan Award for the best collection of short stories in 2008 & 2007 – The Critics and Journalists Award for the best collection of short stories in 2008 – Rozi Rozegari Award for the best collection of short stories in 2008 – “Isfahan Literary Award” and “The Book City Award” for the one of the short stories in this collection Animal Disease and In Between the Empty Hollows.
Azarin Sadegh was born in Iran. She studied computer science at Bourgogne University (France) and years later moved to California working as a software engineer in IBM and a few other firms.
She was a 2011 PEN America Emerging Voices and also completed advanced novel writing courses through UCLA Extension Writers’ Program where she was a student of late Les Plesko. A 2010 UCLA Kirkwood Award nominee, her work has appeared in Place Art Magazine, Scoundrel Time, LA Review of Books, Chicago Sun-Times, Coast Magazine, Iranian.com, among other anthologies.
Mehri Yalfani was born in Hamadan, Iran. After she finished high school, she moved to Tehran and graduated from the University of Tehran with a degree of electrical engineering and worked as an engineer for twenty years. She immigrated to Canada in 1987 with her family and has been writing and publishing since then. She has published six novels and three collections of short stories in Farsi and two novels and three collections of short stories in English. Her new collection of short stories, “A Fall Afternoon in the Park” is going to be published in 2022 by Inanna Publications.
Nooshin Zarnani was born in Iran and graduated from Shahid Beheshti University with a degree in chemistry. She has art certificates in contemporary art, visual art, and art history, as well as experience in directing short films and video arts.
Her work has been featured in many exhibitions and art fairs in Iran, Malaysia, and Italy. Zarnani also has extensive experience as a curator and an art director in different galleries and at auctions. Most of her work is focused on women and women’s rights.
Atieh Noori was born in 1972 in Tehran, and began her photography career in 2001 in different genres: sport, cinema, social documentary, architecture, advertising and portraiture. However, her main focus has been the fine arts and portraiture. Throughout the years she has explored these genres and exhibited her work all around the photography scene of the region.
Some of her notable projects include: ‘Grandmother’, ‘Vartan’, ‘At five O’clock’, ‘The Bride’ and ‘Documents’. A few pieces from ‘Documents’ and ‘Neo-expressionism in contemporary Iranian Art’ were exhibited at Pardis Mellat Gallery and Shirin Art Gallery.
Chief Editor: Dr Shidmehr, Ph.D., MFA, is the author of two collections of short fiction and four books of poetry in English and Farsi. She also co-translated with Ali Azarang Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye into Farsi. Dr. Shidmehr teaches in the Liberal Arts Program and Adults 55+ program at Simon Fraser University. She was born and raised in Iran and currently lives in Canada.
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