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Poet Maryam Ala Amjadi Sighs in Persian, Writes in English

28 January 2010
Poet Maryam Ala Amjadi Sighs in Persian, Writes in English
Washington — “My love for a verb is more than my regard for a noun,” says Maryam Ala Amjadi, a young Iranian poet, whose passion for language has driven her explorations of both Persian and English literature. And although Persian is her first language, she has chosen to write in English. Not surprising, she studied literature in school and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Allameh Tabatabaei University in 2006. “It was a phase in my life when I would rush right after school to a café or cultural house where poetry sessions were held — and engage in discussions of all kinds with words that became ephemeral in the cigarette smoke.” Amjadi spent many childhood years in India, where her parents were pursuing advanced scientific studies. She has since returned there, earning a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Pune in 2009.

In Iowa City, Amjadi joined writers and poets from around the world for an intensive three-month program of workshops and readings. “She is familiar with English and Persian literary traditions,” says Hugh Ferrer, associate director of the International Writing Program. “She is a very playful poet with a great sense of humor, sometimes dark humor, along with the use of puns — a great explorer of language.”

Amjadi is the author of a bilingual English-Persian collection of poetry, Me, I, and Myself (2003). She has translated poems by the renowned poet Forough Farrokhzad, and published a book-length translation of poems of the contemporary Persian writer Behzad Zarrinpour. Her new book of poetry, which she hopes to complete in early 2010, is entitled Gypsy Bullets. Her most recent translation is a bilingual poetry collection by the noted American short story writer Raymond Carver. The book, published in 2009, is entitled Fear of Arriving Early.

Original article can be found HERE.
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