To increase the visibility of Iranian culture on the world stage, and create a greater opportunity for Iranian voices to be part of the modern global conversation.


Founded in 2003, The Translation Project is a nonprofit 501 C 3 umbrella organization for bringing innovative Iranian-inspired projects to audiences through literary and multimedia events. Since 2010, this work has been carried out under the auspices of Niloufar Talebi Projects.


1. The Persian Rite of Spring, a multimedia show about the mythology, poetry, music, folklore and celebrations of Norouz/Norooz/Nowruz, a millennia-old tradition celebrated by Iranians and others around the world. The birth of light and its victory over dark is an archetypical dynamic with a series of ceremonies from Yalda (Winter Solstice) through 13-Bedar (Outdoor 13) that usher in the renewal of the world each spring, which The Persian Rite of Spring brings to life. The Persian Rite of Spring is recorded and available for On Demand Streaming online, or as DVD, and can be booked for touring.

2. On the 30th anniversary of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, The Translation Project presents the Iranian Literary Arts Festival, February 5-6, 2009 in San Francisco, presented in partnership with the Friends of the SF Public Library, and the Asia Society Northern California, celebrating the poets of BELONGING, New Poetry by Iranians Around the World . Participating poets: Ziba Karbassi, Granaz Moussavi, Majid Naficy, Partow Nooriala, and Abbas Saffari.

3. BELONGING, New Poetry by Iranians Around the World (North Atlantic Books, 2008), is a bilingual anthology edited and translated by founder Niloufar Talebi (translations with Zack Rogow and Daniel O’Connell). It offers a comprehensive yet eclectic view of poetry generated outside Iran since the 1979 revolution by both established and emerging Iranian poets.

4. ICARUS/RISE is a provocative and emotional multimedia theatrical performance of new Iranian poetry, translated, created, directed and performed by Niloufar Talebi, with original score by Bobak Salehi, and choreography and video by Alex Ketley, featuring Chloe Felesina as Icarus. Woven from poems featured in BELONGING, ICARUS/RISE connects the myth of Icarus with the migration of Iranians, and the solitary journey of the artist/immigrant in the quest for freedom to tell the 30-year story of the Iranian migration. ICARUS/RISE begins after the fall and is the journey to self-possession, featuring the emerging voices of Iranian poetry, including Ziba Karbassi, Granaz Moussavi, Maryam Huleh, Abbas Saffari, and Shahrouz Rashid, the poet of “Icarus”. ICARUS/RISE is recorded and available for On Demand Streaming online, or as DVD.

5. Iranian Literary Arts Festival, November 13-17, 2007 in San Francisco Held at the spacious and industrial space of Theater Artaud, this multimedia festival featured film screenings, panel presentations, keynote talk by distinguished Iranian writer, Moniru Ravanipur, the premier of ICARUS/RISE, a multimedia theatrical piece based on new Iranian poetry, bookstore, book signings, fundraising gala, and more. Stay tuned for details about our 2008 festival!

6. Midnight Approaches… An evocative, entertaining, and educational DVD of short films based on contemporary Iranian poetry, included in BELONGING, it features an Introduction to Persian poetry, 6 films based on poetry, translated, adapted, and brought to life with music, performance and dance. Musical compositions by master musicians such as Hafez Modirzadeh, Ostaad Mohamad Nejad, royal hartigan, David Molina and more.


Founding Executive & Artistic Director

Niloufar Talebi is an author, award-winning translator, interdisciplinary artist, and producer. She is the Editor and Translator of BELONGING: New Poetry By Iranians Around the World (North Atlantic Books, July 2008), the author of the hybrid memoir, Self-Portrait in Bloom (l’Aleph, 2019), which breaks with the memoir form and introduces a biography of Ahmad Shamlou (1925-2000) and a book-length selection of his poetry in her translation. Talebi is the creator of multimedia projects based on new Iranian poetry including Midnight Approaches, Four Springs, and ICARUS/RISE, as well as The Persian Rite of Spring: story of Nowruz (Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, 2010). She is also a librettist for the projects Ātash Sorushān (Fire Angels) (Carnegie Hall, Cal Performances, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, 2011/2014), Epiphany (Brooklyn Academy of Music, 2015), The Plentiful Peach (Stanford Live, 2015). Talebi co-created (with composer Aleksandra Vrebalov and director Roy Rallo), produced, and presented the immersive performance art opera, Abraham in Flames (ابراهیم در آتش) inspired by the life and work of Ahmad Shamlou (احمد شاملو). In September 2020, The Margins published Niloufar Talebi’s article, “100 Essential Books by Iranians,” as a 5-part series. Since 2010, Talebi has continued that vision and work of The Translation Project under the auspices of Niloufar Talebi Projects: niloufartalebi.com

Board of Directors

Ram Devineni – Rattapallax
Elz Cuya – Full Circle Education
Niloufar Talebi – Translation Project

Advisory Board and consultants are invited on a rotating basis

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