Archive for September, 2006

Benefit Screening! Get Tix Now!


“I found the marriage of visual, musical and poetic imagery in Niloufar
Talebi’s work to be touching and effective and an ideal way to discover
and appreciate contemporary Iranian poetry.”
- Michael Tilson Thomas
Music Director, San Francisco Symphony

“An accomplished translator, Niloufar Talebi is presenting our rich Iranian tradition to the world with The Translation Project. I appreciate her long and valuable journey and wish her the best in her difficult job.”
- Shahrnush Parsipur
Author of Tooba and the Meaning of Night and Women Without Men

View Trailer

Preview silent auction items

Let’s face it, no matter where you are, or what time it is, midnight is always approaching. What this means is that the time has arrived when you must take into account all that has happened. Which is what Niloufar Talebi and The Translation Project have done via their multi-dimensional, evocative and entertaining Midnight Approaches….

While Iran is currently in the news because of politics and religious fanaticism, The Translation Project feels compelled to show more, and give voice to contemporary Iranian literature. Midnight Approaches… features poets living outside the country due to forces that have gripped the country since 1979 and continue to still shape the world today.

These poems express what it’s like to be transplanted, to have humor, to be alone, to be in love, or to yearn. In much the same way that The Kite Runner centered on an Afghani family but conjured universal truths, these poems also communicate things that exist beyond translation, yet rely on it in order to be understood.

These poets are not unlike the “lost generation” writers of the Twenties-Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Fitzgerald, and Pound-who wrote as Americans but with a worldly experience after moving to Europe. As the most European of American cities, San Francisco makes a natural home for the resilience and spirit of these poems. Much as it did for the Beat poets and their words of that time.

Iran has had a long history of supporting the arts through state institutions. Unfortunately this support no longer exist. If Iranian arts, letters and culture are going to survive, it will be through the support of both the Iranian and American communities for works like The Translation Project. We rely on your support and thank you for it.
This benefit screening of the long-awaited Midnight Approaches… will show in public for the first time the combination of performance, music and dance that brings this poetry to life.
Sponsorship opportunities:
Platinum – $5000
-5 copies of the DVD and 5 VIP seats
-Premium billing in program
-Personal thanks in opening or closing remarks at the benefit
-Mention by Niloufar Talebi during appearance on KRON 4 news segment
-Co-producer credit on upcoming film, “Love is Lemony”

Gold – $3000
-3 copies of the DVD and 3 VIP seats
-Featured billing in program
-Credit in Anthology
-Personal thanks in opening or closing remarks at the benefit

Silver – $2000
-2 copies of the DVD and 2 VIP seats
-Featured billing in program
-Credit in Anthology
-Personal thanks in opening or closing remarks at the benefit

Reception, silent auction and screening – $75.00
Reception, silent auction, screening and musical performance – $125.00
All of the above plus a copy of our DVD – $200.00
Those already owning a DVD, full admission is $100/person or $200/couple
Event Details
Reception and silent auction 6-7pm
Screening 7-8pm
Musical Performance by Ostaad Nejad 8-9pm

Catering generously donated by Maykadeh restaurant in North Beach
Wines donated by Le Pialet and Stephen Vincent Wines
Theater courtesy of Jean Shelton Actors Lab


KRON 4 News

The September 24th Benefit Screening is featured on KRON 4 Weekend Update. View 9/17/06 appearance footage below.


The Guthrie Center

Poet Majid Naficy participates in The Resilience of the Human Spirit, An International Gathering of Poets. Other participating poets are Carolyn Forche, Naomi Shahib Nye, Li-Young Lee, Lillian Boraks-Nemetz, Yasuhiko Shigemoto, Alexandre Kimenyi, Claribel Alegria, Choman Hardi, Orlando Ricardo Menes, Dunya Mikhail, Valzhyna Mort, and Nguyen Chi Thien.
Spetember 16-17 at the Guthrie Center in Great Barrington, MA
Sponsored by Blue Flower Arts

California College for the Arts

Guest teaching former SF poet laureate, devorah major’s, “World Poetry and Resistance” class in San Francisco at the California College for the Arts.

Silent Auction Items

Below is a preview of our Benefit Screening silent auction items:

1. “Angelika” by Priya Satya
24″ X 24″, Oil on Canvas
painted in 2005
priced at $10,500
minimum bid, TBD

Artist statement:
Angelika is one of 25 members of the imaginary Pompolini family of Avatars, who are incarnations of higher beings on earth. Avatars deliberately descend into lower realms of existence for special purposes. Each Pompolini has a unique and distinct character, but they all share the same fundamental value; that of being True to themselves and to their calling in life. They intend to inspire us to find our own unique purpose in the world and to seek it with all our might, regardless of the obstacles on our way.
Her words are: ” Of all the things that i gathered while i lived on earth, Love is the only one i was able to take away with me…”

Priya was born in Iran in 1977. Her family fled to France and then Canada after the 1979 Iranian revolution. A self-taught artist, and an active member of several organizations for peace and transformation in the world, her artwork is an expression of the Divinity within all human being.


2. Special and autographed edition of SF Poet laureate, Jack Hirschman’s monumental book of poetry, the Arcanes.

valued at $125
minumum bid, TBD

3. Innovative Auto-Lift Systemô steam iron from oliso

Touch the Oliso Steam Ironís handle, and the iron instantaneously lowers onto your ironing. When you let go, special lifters raise the iron safely above the fabric. These lifters disappear into the soleplate when you iron, and wonít snag or burn even the most delicate fabrics.


4. Performance tickets from Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet


5. Zoom!ô Teeth whitening cetificates (3)
valued at $600/certificate
minumum bid, TBD
Administered by Dr. Afshin Karimian


6. UNESCO-edited specialty books of Mahmoud Farshchian’s book of miniatures.
v. 2 and 3
valued at $500/volume
minimum bid, TBD

7. Two sessions of individual or family therapy
Judith Einzig, LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker)
Value: $300.
minimum bid, TBD

When you or someone in your family is unhappy or upset, meet with a licensed psychotherapist with over 25 years of experience helping adults, couples, children of all ages (from birth through teens), families, and parents. She also offers hypnosis for problems affecting the connection between the mind and body, such as pain or difficulty sleeping.

8. Book Birthing 101 Workshop by Lisa Alpine
Value $300
minimum bid, TBD

Get serious and make the leap from dreams to reality. This workshop is tailored to writers who have written or are considering writing a book or book proposal and want an in-depth exploration of publishing avenues.


9. Rejuvenation Gift Certificates
From Rejuv Anti-aging Clinics
Drs. Malek, Padidar and Salem
Value, $500 each (2 cetrificates)
minimum bid, TBD

Rejuv Anti-Aging Clinics brings the latest technology and experienced medical professionals to you in a casual and relaxed atmosphere.

10. La Amarilla de Ronda

Ecological extra virgin olive oil from the Andalusian mountains, obtained mainly from the Arbequina variety of olive, it is notable for its elegance, freshness and harmony, with an interesting range of fruity flavours, with almond particularly prominent. The smoothness of this ecological extra virgin olive oil brings out the flavours of the foods it accompanies.



Interview with Omid Memarian on BBC Persian.

Harvest Festival “Mehregan”

Participation in Mehregan events include dramatic reading and film screening. More info later.
September 9-10
Orange County

Interview with Bruce Bahmani

In-depth interview about The Translation Project called,
“New Life, Through Translation”

Rozaneh Magazine

Translation and Editorial Services We Offer

Read ‘The Art (and Politics) of Translation

Facts about the state of translated literature in the United States:

Very few works of literature written in languages other than English ever find their way into the US market. Statistics suggest that of all books published annually in the US, less than 3% are works of translation, and that includes retranslations, reissues, and non-literary works. The number of literary fiction, non-fiction and poetry is more like 0.3-0.7%, mostly comprised of European literature since countries such as France, Germany, Greece, Italy, etc., provide support for the translation of their literature into English and other languages.

Therefore, translations of Iranian literature, especially contemporary Iranian literature, are far and few between, but growing. Historically, emphasis has been placed on the translations of classical Persian literature, but things are shifting: the number of excellent literary translators is growing and more interest is placed on translating contemporary Iranian literature.

The standard process by which publishers consider a work of translation is through the submission of a proposal and a sample translation. The proposal is submitted either by an author, or better yet, by a literary agent. To find a literary agent, writers are generally required to have several samples of their work in translation.

Writers interested in pursuing a professional writing career in the US should consider their decision in commissioning a work of translation as a financial investment in the future of their work. They must research and select a translator who has experience in translating works of the same genre and who can create English versions of an original text that stand on their own and do not read like a work of translation. A fluent and fluid translation is what all writers of literature hope for.

Services we offer:

The Translation Project is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring Iranian-inspired literary and multimedia projects to audiences around the world. Because the US book market and publisher practices–which we do not control–allow for very few translations, the reality is that very few literary works from Iran get translated into English and published, far less than the number we would like to see. At the Translation Project, after an extensive editorial process and fundraising, we edited and translated, BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World, published by North Atlantic Books (August 2008). We have also produced collaborative multimedia art projects based on Iranian literature and culture for added exposure, encouraging the integration of Iranian culture into public consciousness.

We are not a publishing house, nor can we sponsor the translation of the numerous unsolicited submissions we receive. However, we do provide translation, editorial and proposal writing services, and refer the requests we receive to professionals to proceed with at their own discretion.

We offer translation and editorial services at standard market rates:

-The fee for professional literary translation is generally $100 to $250 per 1000 (English) words, depending on the nature and complexity of the original text.

-Editorial services, which can include proposal writing, co-writing/translation, and others services, are listed on the Editorial Freelancers Association site are as follows:

Editorial Fees
Editorial Fees

In exceptional cases, a translator might agree to a different fee if he or she feels strongly about the work and believes it stands a good chance of being matched with a publisher. In those instances, writers and translators can seek funding assistance from organizations that offer grants and awards to literary translation projects. A list of these organizations is available through The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) and the PEN American Center. Both these organizations can also provide writers with names of potential translators.

Translators, when working with a living writer, work closely with the writer to fully grasp the style, structure and substance of his or her work, and they often do their best work when they are entrusted with the final decision in creating the English text. It is therefore essential for writers to select a translator whose work they believe in and who they can trust to make those ultimate decisions in rendering their work into English.

We would be happy to quote you a fee after examining your text and assessing your needs. Please send us and email with such inquiries.

SF’s 7X7 Magazine

7X7_logo.gifThe September issue of 7 X 7 Magazine calls our project as “Most Likely to Make You Want to Learn Farsi”, pg. 217

Radio Interview with Mehrdad Haghighi

A 1-hour interview with 670 am KIRN about The Translation Project and our events at the OC Mehregan. Audio download of the interview coming soon.

Washington Prism

Article about the project (in Persian)