The Bombay Review’s
Iranian Edition (Vol II)
Issue 40, March; ’21
welcome to the magazine of literary things
Hello readers, writers, and you!
Welcome to The Bombay Review’s Iranian Edition (Vol II). 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.
The two issues are edited and compiled by Dr. Nilofar Shidmehr. A Ph.D., MFA, she 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. Her website is here.
The cover art for this issue was made by Moslem Khezri (b. 1984), a painter and university lecturer from Iran. He holds an MA in Painting from Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran and a BA in Painting from the University of Sistan and Baluchestan in Zahedan. His recent most exhibitions have been at the 2020 Art Dubai and in the 2019 Art Feast 7 in Tehran.
“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 II) – Issue 40, March, 2021 (Year 8)
Amir Ahmadi Arian teaches literature and creative writing at CUNY City College in New York City.
His work has appeared in The New York Times, Paris Review, New York Review of Books, Al Jazeera, London Review of Books, Electric Literature, Rumpus, Michigan Quarterly Review, Words Without Borders, the Guardian, Lithub, and elsewhere. He is the author of Then The Fish Swallowed Him (HarperCollins 2020).
Mohsen Emadi is an Iranian/Mexican poet, translator, programmer and filmmaker. He has published the poetry books La flor en los renglones (Lola Editorial, Spain, 2003), We never talked about her eyes (Goo Publishing, Iran, 2007), Las leyes de gravedad (Olifante, Spain, 2011), Visible como el aire, legible como la muerte (Olifante, Spain, 2012), Abismal (CrC, Mexico, 2016), Standing on Earth (Phoneme Media, USA, 2016), among others.
His is the founder and editor of the Persian Anthology of World Poetry, and as a filmmaker, he has directed several poetic documentaries, among which Querido Antonio stands out, on the influence of the Civil War on Antonio Gamoneda’s poetry; and La ùnica patria, which contains the last interview of Juan Gelman. Since 2009 Emadi left the country to exile and consequently he lived in Finland, Czech Republic, Spain and Mexico.
Maria Saba is an Ottawa-based writer, storyteller, and arts educator. Born and raised in Iran, she has published three books and over a hundred articles, interviews, and stories in four continents. Maria’s short story collection, “My First Friend”, was a semi-finalist for the Iowa Short Fiction Prize, and the title story, published in Scoundrel Time won the Editor’s Choice Award and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her novella, “The Secret of Names” was longlisted for the 2020 Disquiet Literary Prize.
Maria has served on various arts and literature juries and is the recipient of grants in English literature from Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Ottawa. She attended Banff Writing Studio and residencies at Al-Purdy A-Frame in Ameliasburgh and Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland. She recently won the PEN Canada Scholarship and the Wallace Stegner Award in the arts. Currently Maria is working on her debut novel, “There You Are.”
Fereshteh Najafi, an Iranian illustrator, attained a Bachelor of Graphic Design and Master in Illustration at the Azad Art University of Tehran. In 2008, she immigrated to Genova, Italy, where she directed her creative work through illustration for children’s books. In recent years Fereshteh has worked both on illustration and giving workshops in Italy, Brazil and United Arab Emirates.
She began exhibiting internationally in 2006 and since then has been selected at over 20 international illustration exhibitions, including the prestigious Biennial of Illustration of Bratislava, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair Illustrators Exhibition, the “Le Immagini della Fantasia” in Sarmede, Italy, the Nami Concours in South Korea and in countries such as United Arab Emirates, Germany, Serbia, South Africa, Australia, Japan and India. Najafi has illustrated more than 25 titles, in Iran, Lebanon, Iraq, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, France, South Africa and Italy. Najafi is admired for her strong and unique visual vocabulary of heavily textured brushwork and a distinctive and confident use of colour. Since 2015 she lives in Brazil.
Roger Sedarat is a professor of poetry and literary translation in the MFA Program at Queens College, City University of New York. He is the author of four poetry collections: Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic, which won Ohio UP’s 2007 Hollis Summers’ Prize, Ghazal Games (Ohio UP 2011), Foot Faults: Tennis Poems (David Robert Books), and Haji as Puppet: an Orientalist Burlesque, which won Word Works 2016 Tenth Gate Prize for a Mid-Career Poet.
A recipient of the Willis Barnstone Prize in Translation, his rendering of classical and contemporary Persian verse, along with other literary work have appeared in Poetry, Brooklyn Rail, Guernica, World Literature Today, and Michigan Quarterly Review.
Alie Ataee is an Iranian-Afghan fiction writer and playwright. She has an MA in Dramatic Literature from the University of Tehran. Her stories speak to the themes of immigration and identity crisis. She has published two novels and more recently a collection of short fiction.
Her books have won several awards including the Mehregan Adam Award and the Vav Literary Award. Some of her short stories have been translated into English and French and published in a diverse set of literary journals like Guernica and Michigan Quarterly Review. Her new nonfiction about the war on Iran at Afghanistan borders is forthcoming.
Saeed Yousef is a former professor of Persian language and literature at the University of Chicago (2002-2020). He began writing and publishing poems in mid-1960s. A political prisoner under the Shah (1971-74), he had to leave Iran after the revolution and went to Germany as a refugee. Yousef has published about 10 books of poems, several translations and books of literary criticism, as well as three books of Persian Grammar.
Nahid Keshavarz is a graduate of journalism school in Tehran. She has been living in Koln, Germany for more than thirty years. For fourteen years she has been manager of Refugee and Immigrant affairs in city of Koln.
She has passed courses in psychoanalysis and works as a psychoanalyst part time. Nahid is an active writer and her articles have been published on various portals and websites. She has also published four novels, one of which has been translated into German. Her fifth book is a work in progress and is scheduled for publication soon.
Ahlam Faez lives in Iran, is a graduate of graphics and has been illustrating for about ten years now. She has collaborated with several magazines and illustrated the book “Moon and Fish,” “Blue-Eyed Boy” and five volumes of the collection “Little Hands of Prayer.” She has also been the director of the “Hooma” Illustration Group and won several national and international awards for her work and exhibitions. Her Instagram is: @_ahlam.faez_
Samad Ghorbanzadeh, born in Oroumieh in 1984, holds a Bachelor of Graphic Design from Ferdowsi University in Mashhahd and a Masters in Photography from Tehran University of Art. His work has been featured in numerous personal and group exhibition and Installations such as Art Fact Tashkent, Mohsen Art Gallery, Silk Road (Rah-e-Abrisham) Gallery, Shirin Art Gallery, Seyhoun Art Gallery, Dana Art gallery, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Saba Art Academy. He also participated in Uzbekistan’s Photography Biennial, Italy’s Arte Laguna, Sony Photography exhibit London and Iran’s Photography Biennial.
Sheida Mohammadi, born in 2000, is currently majoring in Graphic Design at the College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran. From a very young age, she was attracted towards the arts, and more specifically illustration. Even though her major is in graphic design, she mostly focuses on illustration. Doll-making has been a long term love of hers, and lately, she has been working on a series to show the stories of Iran, her country and people through the same. She believes that there is a strong voice of the feminine in her work, modelled on her fascination with women who broke norms. At 20, she knows this is just the beginning of her professional journey, and is delighted that she can create something that others take something out of from.
Moslem Khezri was born in 1984 in Kerman, Iran and is a painter and a university lecturer. He holds an MA in Painting from Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran and a BA in Painting from the University of Sistan and Baluchestan in Zahedan. His paintings were featured in many solo and group exhibitions in Iran and abroad, for example in the 2020 Art Dubai and in the 2019 Art Feast 7 in Tehran.
Ebrin Bagheri, born in 1983, is an Iranian/Canadian visual artist currently living and working in Toronto, Canada. Bagheri has completed a Masters of Fine Arts degree at York University, and holds visual arts degrees from other Canadian institutions, including a Bachelor of Fine Arts from OCAD University and an arts diploma from George Brown College. Bagheri has been a part of multiple-group shows in Iran and Canada, as well as a solo exhibition in Tehran. Working primarily in drawing and painting, Bagheri has been exploring issues pertinent to Iranian culture and identity. Particularly, Bagheri uses portraiture to explore themes of masculinity and gender.
Ezzat Goushegir currently teaches at DePaul University (SCPS) in Chicago. She has published six books in Farsi, including four collections of short stories, a collection of two plays, and a book of poetry. Her plays in English have been staged internationally, published, and received awards like the Richard Maibaum and the Norman Felton award. Since emigrating, she has had a prolific body of work in English as well.
Her first play “Beginning of Bloom” was produced for Iranian National Television in 1976. She was a Fellow Writer in the Iowa City International Writing Program, a Writer-in-Residence at the University of Maryland, a co-director and dramaturge of a reading series at New Federal Theatre in New York. Four volumes of her Memories in Diaspora will be published in 2022.
Iranian-born, Arash Khoshsafa is an Iranian Ph.D. candidate in English literature at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For his scholarly and research work, he focuses on literary criticism and American fiction, especially dirty realist writers such as Richard Ford. In the literary sphere, Arash translates fiction from English into Persian and vice versa. He has translated and published many novels and short stories in Iran and overseas. Besides, he writes fiction in Persian and English and hopes to gather and publish his stories as books in the near future. Arash currently lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Rosa Jamali (b. 1977) is an Iranian poet based out of Tehran. She’s got an MA degree from Tehran University in English Literature, and is the author of six collections of poetry in Persian, a play, various scholarly articles and is the translator of an anthology of English Poetry in Persian.
Her first book, titled This Dead Body Is Not an Apple, It Is Either a Cucumber or a Pear, was published in 1997. Critics credit this collection with opening new landscapes and possibilities for contemporary Persian poetry.
Annahid Dashtgard is a renowned author, changemaker and co-founder of Anima Leadership, a boutique consulting company specializing in issues of diversity, inclusion and anti-racism. Previously she was a leader in the economic globalization movement, responsible for several national political campaigns and frequently referred to as one of the top activists to watch. Her published writing credits include The Globe and Mail, CBC and numerous magazines. Her first book– Breaking the Ocean: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion and Reconciliation (House of Anansi, 2019)– garnered stellar reviews, referred to as a “luminous inventory dappled with joy and pain” (Quill and Quire). Dashtgard is currently working on her second book, Bones of Belonging, a collection of stories linking the personal to the political (follow her @Annahid).
Zahra is a designer and illustrator from Iran. Her professional experience includes graphic designing for a number of art companies. As she developed and groomed her work, she decided to focus her creative efforts on bringing fiction characters to life through her art and graphic designing.
You can read Vol I of The Bombay Review’s Iranian Edition here.
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