Super Bowl Fans Tackle Poetry

February 09, 2021

On January 20, a star was born in Washington, DC, during the inauguration of the 46th president of the United States — a 78-year-old white man taking over from a 74-year-old sore loser. Before the swearing-in, an unknown 22-year-old black female strode up to the podium. She embodied the...

Charles Bernstein: Poetry in Solidarity with the Iranian People

March 15, 2019

In this edition of The Interview, Fair Observer talks to renowned American poet and literary scholar Charles Bernstein. Strangulating economic sanctions are no novelty for the Iranian people, who have borne the brunt of international embargoes for almost four decades now. The United States...

Iran’s Radical Poetry in the Making

February 07, 2017

A radical poetry movement in Iran breaks rules and challenges censorship. For several years before my immigration to the Czech Republic, I had experienced something like living in Prague. The experience was extremely similar to Milan Kundera’s and Klima’s description of the city because our...

Iraqi-American Encounters: The Art of Social Justice

August 18, 2014

Vignettes of an American-Iraqi Art Festival in Kurdistan. SoJust, the Art of Social Justice, was an international arts festival designed by the English Department and Drama Program at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) to encourage the rising generation of intellectual, social...

Kurdistan: Where Poets Are More Than Poets

August 16, 2014

Poets are setting people free, liberating thought through language. The auditorium fills. A janitor weaves through the crowd to unlock the upper balcony, and soon that fills, too. Men sit on each other’s knees, three to a seat, careful not to touch the women around them. Men fill the center...

Poetic Struggles: On Writing and Censorship in Iran (Part 1/2)

June 20, 2014

Writers, poets and intellectuals have always felt the pressure of censorship in Iran. Sepideh Jodeyri, an exiled Iranian poet, talks to Fair Observer about the history of literary censorship in Iran, as well as her personal experience with censors. She remembers the names of writers and poets...

Translating Kurdish Poetry: Not for the Faint of Heart

June 15, 2013

Translating Kurdish, Iraqi, and other regional poetry has the power to shatter stereotypes, ease local tensions, and show the world a side of the region it has never seen. Giggles. Such was the reaction Marie LaBrosse received every time she mentioned the name “Sheikh Raza” in her new...

An Evening of Poetry: Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Iraq War

April 30, 2013

Sarah Zakzouk’s review of Reel Words, an evening of Iraqi and British poetry in London commemorating the ten-year anniversary of the Iraq war. Reel Words, an evening of poetry in translation, was but a small element of the Reel Festivals lineup. This year’s festival, Reel Iraq, was...