The Persian Rite of Spring at LACMA

March 14, 2010

Nowruz Tribute - Shahnameh
Nowruz Tribute - Shahnameh

The Translation Project is pleased to announce its newest show, The Persian Rite of Spring, commissioned by the Farhang Foundation, to world premiere at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on March 14, 2010, at 12:30 PM.

The Persian Rite of Spring, created by The Translation Project’s Niloufar Talebi in collaboration with composer Bobak Salehi, is a multimedia show about the mythology, poetry, music, folklore and celebrations of 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 performance will take place in the Leo S. Bing Theater at LACMA at 12:30 p.m. The event is FREE to the public. Due to limited seating (450), tickets are required and may be obtained free-of-charge on a first come, first served basis from LACMA’s box office, starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 14th. LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd • Los Angeles California 90036 • Phone: 323-857-6000.

The Persian Rite of Spring performance is part of Farhang Foundation’s second annual, all-day Nowruz celebration at LACMA on March 14, 2010 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The performance will be followed by a special musical performance by the Hamed Nikpay Ensemble, which includes some of the most talented world musicians, performing Hamed Nikpay’s signature Persian melodies fused with a flamenco beat, at LACMA’s LA Times Central Courtyard.

PEN American Center Translation Slam

Inspired by live translation slams that proved to be audience favorites at the Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival, and again at PEN World Voices, PEN’s online Translation Slam aims to showcase the art of translation by juxtaposing in a public forum two “competing” translations of a single work.

The poem chosen for the current installment is a political slogan devised by Iranian protesters who took to the streets this June after the official results of the presidential elections were announced. The slogan refers directly to an insult levied at protesters by current Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who referred to them as khas-o-khaashaak, meaning dirt and dust, scraps and bits….(read the two translations of this slogan here…)

آن خس و خاشاک تویی/ پست تر از خاک تویی
شور منم نور منم/ عاشق رنجور منم
زور تویی کور تویی/ هاله ی بی نور تویی
دلیر بی باک منم/ مالک این خاک منم


October 22, 2009

Bobak Salehi and Niloufar Talebi perform ICARUS/RISE Remix at University of Oklahoma’s World Literature Today event, the 2009 Neustadt Festival of International Literature and Culture.

Evening program:


Pireeni Sundaralingam and Colm O’Riain

Etgar Keret screening “Jellyfish
7 PM

Yale University Talk

September 24, 2009

Niloufar Talebi delivers a talk, ‘30 Years of Belonging: New Iranian Poetry Around the World‘ reading poetry by BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World (North Atlantic Books, 2008), and presents a slideshow of slogans by Iranian protestors, in translation.
Yale University, Luce Hall Auditorium

September 24, 6:30 PM

Philoctetes Center

September 22, 2009

Panel on Iranian poetry at the Philoctetes Center for the ‘Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination’ with:
Iraj Anvar
Richard Jeffrey Newman
Roger Sedarat (moderator and participant)
Niloufar Talebi
Katayoon Zandvakili

Tuesday September 22, 2009, 7 – 8:30 PM

247 E 82nd St
New York, NY 10028-2701
(646) 422-0544

San Francisco International Poetry Festival

July 23 - 26, 2009

Presenting translations of Ziba Karbassi’s poetry the San Francisco International Poetry Festival:

Saturday July 25, 2009
Main Stage Poetry Reading on with Francis Combes, Ziba Karbassi, Georges Castera/Joj Kastra, Taslima Nasrin, Al Young, Ámbar Past, Tarek Eltayeb, Agneta Falk, Sasha Pimentel Chacòn, Ferruccio Brugnaro, Carla Badillo Coronado, and Jack Hirschman.

7:00 – 9:30 PM at Palace of Fine Arts


Sunday July 26, 2009
Ziba Karbassi (Iran) reading with Niloufar Talebi

3:30 – 5:00 PM, North Beach Poetry Crawl at Cafe Trieste

The Translation Project is a community collaborator of The San Francisco International Poetry Festival

Literatures of Resistance: Solidarity Event

July 11, 2009

Literatures of Resistance: In Solidarity w/ the Iranian People

FREE EVENT featuring Rana Farhan, Luis Francia, Amir Parsa, THE TEHRAN-DAKAR BROTHERS , Eleanor Wilner, D. Nurske, Said Sayrafiezadeh, Roger Sedarat, Dalia Sofer, Niloufar Talebi and more!

This free event is sponsored by the Association of Iranian American Writers, Persian Arts Festival, The Translation Project, ArteEast and Bowery Arts and Science. Any contributions at the event will be donated to Amnesty International.

Saturday July 11, 2009, 2 – 5 PM, Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, NYC

Marin Poetry Center talk on translation

April 16, 2009

Through her translations of contemporary Iranian poetry, Niloufar Talebi discusses the step-by-step process of rendering poetry from one language into another.

See here for a sample talk on translation
Thursday April 16, 2000, 7:30 PM
Falkirk Cultural Center
1408 Mission Avenue
Downtown San Rafael, CA

Queens College Translation Conference

March 26, 2009

Niloufar Talebi does a screens clips from ICARUS/RISE, and discusses Naghali and Pardeh-dari at the ‘From Ghazal to Zuihitsu: Translating Asian Languages and Cultures‘ conference for the ‘Translation in Performance’ panel. Other participants include: Admer Gouryh, a translator of modern Arabic drama who gets the audience acting out the plays; and Maryam Habibian, a Persian translator who depicts Forough Farrokhzad in her one act play/monologue.

Followed by keynote speech by Poet Li-Young Lee.

Creative Writing Program at Queens College,
65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, New York, NY 11367
4:30 PM – FREE

Kepler’s Books reading

February 19, 2009

Niloufar Talebi reads from BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World at Kepler’s Books.
Event introduced by Firoozeh Dumas, plus surprise poets! keplers.gif
February 19, 2009, 7:30 PM
Kepler’s Books
1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park CA, 94025
(650) 324-4321

‘30 Years of BeLonging’ at UC Berkeley

February 12, 2009

Niloufar Talebi gives a talk at UC Berkeley, ‘30 Years of BeLonging: The Rise of new Iranian Voices’- co-sponsored by the English Department and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

Maude Fife Room – 315 Wheeler Hall - University of California, Berkeley campus, Berkeley, CA, 94720
6 PM

Iranian Literary Arts Festival 2009

February 5-6, 2009

Reading and Talk at Book Passage

February 2, 2009

Niloufar Talebi discusses translation of contemporary Iranian poetry and reads from BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World.

7 PM, Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA 94925 (415) 927-0960

University of California, Los Angeles

January 28, 2009

Niloufar Talebi reads from BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World and screens footage from ICARUS/RISE at UCLA. Event sponsored by the Iranian Student Group.

6 PM – FREE 308 Westwood Plaza, Kerckhoff Art Gallery, Kerckhoff Hall 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Talk at National University

January 23, 2009

Niloufar Talebi gives a talk about BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World and screens footage from ICARUS/RISE at National University. Event co-sponsored by the Persian Culture Club of San Diego and National University, and Poets and Writers.

National University, 11255 North Torrey Pines Road, Room #123, La Jolla, CA 92037
8 PM – $10 general admission; students free

Art in the One World at CAL ARTS

January 17, 2009

Niloufar Talebi presents a talk on the dramaturgy of ICARUS/RISE at the “Arts in the One World – Motherhood and Revolution” International Theater conference at CAL ARTS, a co-presentation by the California Institute of the arts (Valencia) and the Interdisciplinary Genocide Studies Center (Kigali)
California Institute of the Arts, 24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia, California 91355
2:00 – 3:30 PM at the Faculty Center


Talk at Nassau Community College

December 4, 2008

Niloufar Talebi discusses translation, reads from BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World (North Atlantic Books, August 2008), and screens clips from ‘Midnight Approaches’ and ‘ICARUS/RISE’.

Nassau Community College

Central Connecticut State University lecture

December 2, 2008

Niloufar Talebi talks about contemporary Iranian poetry and translation

Persian Arts Festival Shab-e She’r

November 19, 2008

Niloufar Talebi reads from BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World at the
Persian Arts Festival’s Shab-e She’r at the Bowery Poetry Club.

Wednesday November 19th, from 6-8 PM
bowery.jpg308 Bowery
New York, NY 10012
(212) 614-0505

Ledig House International Writer’s Residency reading

November 9, 2008

Niloufar Talebi reads her work-in-progress at the Ledig House International Writer’s Residency ‘KGB Bar reading series’.

kgb_logo.gifSunday November 9th, 7 PM
85 East 4th Street
NYC 10003


October 10-11, 2008

For those of you who missed the 2007 premier of ICARUS/RISE at Theater Artaud, the San Francisco-based Red Poppy Art House is presenting an ICARUS/RISE Re-mix.

ICARUS/RISE is a multimedia theatrical piece based on poetry featured in BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World, connecting the myth of Icarus with the migration of Iranians, and the solitary journey of the artist/migrant in the quest for freedom.
redpoppy.jpgFriday October 10, 2008 and Saturday October 11, 2008
2698 FOLSOM SF,CA 94110

Books Inc. Mountain View

October 9, 2008

Niloufar Talebi reads from BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World at Books Inc. Mountain View.

Thursday October 9, 2008 @ 7:30 PM
301 Castro Street, Mountain View
(650) 428-1234


Reading of BELONGING at Rug Jones

October 7, 2008

Writer and filmmaker Jason Rezaian hosts a reading of BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World (North Atlantic Books, August 2008), edited and translated by Niloufar Talebi, at his unique and soulful Persian rug store.

Rug Jones

531 Sutter St. (between Powell and Mason)
San Francisco, CA 94102 or call (415)399-1492

SF Litquake 2008 Panel

October 6, 2008

Niloufar Talebi participates in a panel, “East of Istanbul: Voices from the Muslim World” with Tamim Ansary, Anita Amirrezvani, Persis Karim, moderated by UpFront and New America Media’s Sandip Roy

October 6, 2008 at 6 PM – Mechanics Institute Library
57 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94104 (415) 393-0100

SF Litquake 2008 Reading

October 4, 2008

Niloufar Talebi reads from BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World at Litquake festival’s
Koret Reading Series, “Around the World in 60 Minutes”

Readers are:
Nguyen Do
Malena Watrous
Siddharth Shanghvi
Niloufar Talebi
Zoë Ferraris
Saikat Majumdar
Erika Mailman
Saturday October 4, 2008, 12 Noon
Book signing at 5:30 PM
San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street
San Francisco CA 94102-4733 – (415) 557-4400

Mission Arts and Performance Project (MAPP)

October 4, 2008

Screening ‘Midnight Approaches’, a DVD of short films based on the poetry in BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World.

Mother_CAPTION_erase.jpgSaturday October 4th, 7 PM
Various locations around Folsom and 23rd Street in San Francisco

Cornelia Street Cafe Reading

September 25, 2008

Niloufar Talebi reads from BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World
at the Cornelia Street Cafe.

Thursday September 25, 2008

29 Cornelia Street, NYC 10014


6-8 PM. $7 admission includes a drink.
Co-sponsored by

City University of New York

September 17, 2008

The Middle East and Middle East American Center at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center hosts an evening for BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World.

Wednesday Sept. 17, 2008, 6.30-8.30 PM
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4309

Rooms C204/205

Co-sponsored by

BELONGING reading at the Levantine Cultural Center

August 29, 2008

Niloufar Talebi reads from “BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World” (North Atlantic Books), along with Joyce Zonana, who will talk about and sign copies of her memoir “Dream Homes, From Cairo to Katrina, an Exile’s Journey” (Feminist Press 2008), about growing up Egyptian American and Jewish.

6-8 PM
Levantine Cultural Center
1012 S. Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA


Stacey’s Bookstore reading

August 5, 2008

The Asia Society Northern California co-presents the first reading of BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World in San Francisco, at Stacey’s Bookstore in downtown SF.
Tuesday August 5th, 2008, 12:30 – 1:30 pm
581 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 421-4687

Events Photo Gallery

View our events photo gallery here

Iranian Festival at Portland State University

August 2, 2008

Niloufar Talebi performs selections from BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World with musicians Bobak Salehi, Nat Hulskamp, Chaz Hastings, Fabod Sedeh, Basheer Badii and Parisa Rabii at the Iranian Festival in Portland.

Local Portland paper digest of events

BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World

July 22, 2008

Published by North Atlantic Books, distributed by Random House

This anthology features 18 Iranian poets whose work varies dramatically in style, tone and theme, including Amir-Hossein Afrasiabi’s lyric poems, erotic divertissements by Ziba Karbassi, rigorously formal poetry by Yadollah Royaii, experimental poems by Naanaam, powerful polemics by Maryam Huleh, and the personal-epic work of Shahrouz Rashid. Eclectic and accessible, these vibrant poems deepen the often limited awareness of Iranian identity today by not only introducing readers to contemporary Iranian poetry, but also expanding the canon of significant writing in the Persian language. Belonging offers a glimpse at a complex culture through some of its finest literary talents.

Read an excerpt of the Introduction to BELONGING.

Order on

“Niloufar Talebi’s accomplishment in gathering the poetry of the Iranian diaspora is unprecedented and breathtaking. It is as if she has, by force of commitment and vision, and by way of cultural hunger, bequeathed a new literary heritage to Iran and the world….”
–Carolyn Forché
Editor of Against Forgetting: Twentieth Century Poetry of Witness

“Niloufar Talebi has accomplished the ultimate magic trick in her clean and modern translation. She has made the work of modern Persian poets read like original English … an unparalled contribution.”

–Willis Barnstone
Author of With Borges on an Ordinary Evening in Buenos Aires

“Poetry is a world art because of brilliant editors and translators like Niloufar Talebi … Here are the poets, in all their power, defiance, dignity, wildness, and lyric grace, scattered across the earth, yet united in this book…”
–Martín Espada
Pulitzer Prize nominee and author of The Republic of Poetry

“With literary skill and passion, Niloufar Talebi overcome the obstacles of matter, time and geographical space to produce a remarkable collection of Iranian poetry in diaspora … BELONGING is a major contribution to the recognition of contemporary Iranian literature in the West, to the appreciation of diaspora poetry by Persian-speakers everywhere, and to the important project of producing good translations form rich but under-represented literary canons for the anglophone reader. ”
–Nahid Mozaffari
Editor of the PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature

Orange County Poetry Festival

May 2, 2008

Contemporary Poetry in Translation:
Paul Vangelisti, Hélène Cardona, and Niloufar Talebi read their translations of contemporary poetry and discuss their processes of translation.

Sponsored by Tebot Bach

May 2nd @ 8 PM
Golden West College, Community Room 102
Huntington Beach, CA
Free Parking and Admission

Iranian Literary Arts Festival

November 13-17, 2007

Festival registration is easy: Just buy a ticket for one of 3 ICARUS/RISE evenings to be automatically registered for all festival events.

Theater Artaud, 450 Florida, San Francisco

Tuesday November 13

Film Screenings (co-curated by the Translation Project and Beyond Persia):
6-7 PM – The Green Cold, from Nasser Saffarian’s trilogy on Forough Farrokhzad (60 min)

Director Nasser Saffarian deftly combines interviews with family members and peers with footage of Farrokhzad shot by Bernardo Bertolucci. Saffarian digs deep into her personal and professional life to uncover new information about this outspoken artist. A revealing look at her private world.

7:10-7:30 PM – “The House is Black” by Forough Farrokhzad (22 min)

A landmark in Iranian cinema, and spliced with Farrokhzad’s narration of quotes from the Old Testament, the Koran and her own poetry, it is a look at life and suffering in a leper colony and focuses on the human condition and the beauty of life.

7:40-9:10 PM – Seeds by Marjan Safinia (90 min)

“…a spectacular film…truly impressive” —Judy Woodruff, CNN
Feature Documentary of Middle Eastern teenagers who spend 3 weeks at camp with their “enemy”.

9:20-10:20 PM – Ahmad Mahmoud, A Noble Novelist, by Bahman Maghsoudlou (60 min)

An acclaimed story-writer and novelist, Ahmad Mahmoud was born on December 25, 1931 in Ahwaz. In his youth he worked as a day laborer, driver, construction worker and suffered imprisonment for his political views.

Wednesday November 14

Film Screenings (co-curated by the Translation Project and Beyond Persia):
6-6:30 PM – Young Republic by Nooshin Navidi (30 min)

“An authentic glimpse into the Under 30 generation that makes up 65% of Iran’s current population.”

6:40-7:40 PM – “The Mirror of the Soul”, from Nasser Saffarian’s trilogy on Forough Farrokhzad (60 min)

Director Nasser Saffarian deftly combines interviews with family members and peers with footage of Farrokhzad shot by Bernardo Bertolucci. Saffarian digs deep into her personal and professional life to uncover new information about this outspoken artist. An exploration of her ground-breaking, controversial, and erotic poetry.

7:50-8:30 PM – Beyond Words by Jahanshah Ardalan (40 min)

“Sometimes the further you go away, the deeper you go within.”
A Never before seen documentary of the secret rituals of the Kurdish Sufis.

8:40-9:40 PM – Ahmad Shamlou, Master Poet of Liberty” by Bahman Maghsoudlou (60 min)

A documentary about one of the most important Iranian poet and intellectual icon.

9:50 PM – Aref Squared by Nader Davoodi

“A funny documentary that chronicles the fantasy of a Cab driver in Tehran that he will someday sing on stage with the famous singer, Aref”

Thursday November 15

Art Exhibit by Beyond | Persia, Hors d’œuvres (7pm)

World Premier of ICARUS/RISE (8-9)

A multimedia theatrical piece based on new Iranian poetry. Connects the myth of Icarus with the migration of Iranians, and the solitary journey of the artist/migrant in the quest for freedom. 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, Abbas Saffari, Maryam Huleh and Shahrouz Rashid, the poet of “Icarus”.


Created by Niloufar Talebi
Original Score by Bobak Salehi
Choreography and video by Alex Ketley
Percussion, Ian Ding
Cello, Kristina Forester
Lighting Design, Allen Willner
Dramaturg, Zack Rogow

Post-Show cast meet & greet, dance party

Friday November 16

Art Exhibit by Beyond | Persia, Hors d’œuvres (7pm)


Post-Show cast meet & greet, dance party

Saturday November 17

Bookstore (11 am-4 pm)
Panel 1: “Literature and Performance” (11-12:15)
With Ram Devineni, Zack Rogow, Niloufar Talebi
Panel 2: “Iranian literature as World Literature” (12:30-1:45)
With Martin Riker, Fatemeh Keshavarz, Richard Jeffrey Newman
Keynote Talk (2-3:15)
Moniru Ravanipur: “Why is Iranian Literature not World Literature (yet)”
Book Signing (3:20-4)
Moniru Ravanipur, Fatemeh Keshavarz, Richard Jeffrey Newman, Ram Devineni, Shahrouz Rashid…Reception and Art Auction (6-7)
Gala Dinner and Live Entertainment (8-11:30)


Moniru_speaking.jpg Richard_Jeffrey_Newman__Fatemeh_Keshavarz.jpg




Voice of America interview

December 16, 2006

Interview (in Persian) with Voice Of America on December 16th, 2006 with “Roundtable With You”, Meezgerdi Baa Shomaa.

Voice of America
Voice of America

Files are quite large, they will take some time to download.

MESA Conference: Creative Expressions

November 18-21, 2006

DVD screens at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) annual conference in Boston. November 18-21.

Modern Iranian Women Poets Conference

November 14, 2006

The Translation Project organizes a multi-media conference on the life and poetry of Iranian women poets including and since Forough Farrokhzad. Conference presentations include Farrokhzad’s only film, The House is Black, the Nasser Saffarian trilogy of films on Farrokhzad, Sard-e Sabz, Jaam-e Jaan, and Oj-e Moj. Dr. Maryam Habibian presents a lecture, a theater piece and a short documentary on the life and work of Farrokhzad. Niloufar Talebi presents a dramatic reading of selections from her Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Poetry Around the World, a lecture on contemporary Iranian poetry and a screening of Midnight Approaches….

November 14-15, State University of New York, Plattsburgh

Read Press Republican's Article
Read Press Republican's Article

Evening of Poetry

October 18-21, 2006

Niloufar Talebi presents an evening of dramatic readings of contemporary Iranian poetry accompanied with live music by multi-instrumentalist, Bobak Salehi and goup, at the annual American Literary Translators Association conference in the Seattle area.

Conference October 18-21

King County Library

October 17, 2006

Reading translations of contemporary Iranian poetry.

Litquake SF!

October 12, 2006

Niloufar will read at Lit Crawl, the final event of Litquake as part of:
One World, Many Languages: Literature in Translation
Lineup also includes: Chana Bloch, Hamida Banu Chopra, Zack Rogow, John Oliver Simon

Abandoned Planet Bookstore, 518 Valencia street, 6-7 pm


Brattleboro Literary Festival

October 6-8, 2006

Presenting a paper on Contemporary Iranian Poets outside Iran and screening our films based on these voices.
October 6-8, Brattleboro, VT

Benefit Screening! Get Tix Now!

September 24, 2006


“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

September 17, 2006

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


The Guthrie Center

September 16-17, 2006

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

September 15, 2006

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

Harvest Festival “Mehregan”

September 9-10, 2006

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

LA Film Society

August 27, 2006

Screening Midnight Approaches….
LA Film Society,
11338 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Iranian-American Chamber of Commerce

August 8, 2006

Presentation about the project and how to become a part of growing the presence of contemporary Iranian literature on the world stage.

Iranian-American Chamber of Commerce meeting at Santorini restaurant

242 O’Farrell street in San Francisco, 7-9 pm

Biennial Conference on Iranian Studies

August 3-5, 2006

6th Biennial on Iranian Studies, co-sponsored by the Iran Heritage Foundation
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, UK
August 3-5

Interview with Iranican Live

July 15, 2006

View highlights from the bilingual interview with Iranican live on the Persian News Network.

دوستان عزیز دوزبانه–انگلیسی-فارسی–میتوانند قسمتی از گفتگو را اینجا ببینند


Interview with Iranican Live (Jul. 15, 2006)

Simin Behbahani, Life and Poetry

May 14, 2006

Multi-city tribute to this Iranian bard. Niloufar will read Simin Behbahani’s poetry in translation.
Sunday May 14th, Dwinelle Hall, University of California Berkeley
2-3 pm Social hour, book sale and TTP display table
3-5 pm Program

Simin Behbahani, Dr. Jaleh Pirnazar and Niloufar Talebi reading
Simin Behbahani, Dr. Jaleh Pirnazar and Niloufar Talebi reading
Homa Sarshar, Lobat Vala, Simin Behbahani and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi
Homa Sarshar, Lobat Vala, Simin Behbahani and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi

Simin Behbahani and Niloufar
Simin Behbahani and Niloufar

Dr. Ehsan Yarshater and Niloufar
Dr. Ehsan Yarshater and Niloufar

Encyclopaedia Iranica Gala

May 13, 2006

Annual San Francisco Gala, 2006.
Bridging Past and Present
Ritz Carlton San Francisco
6:30 – 11 pm

Markazi TV Interview

April 18, 2006

Markazi Satellite TV interviews Niloufar about the project and will screen footage from Paper Boats, the DVD of films based on poetry. Interview can also be viewed online at

9 – 10 pm PST (Los Angeles Time)

Society of Iranian Professionals

April 8, 2006

Screening our Poetryfilms and doing a dramatic collaborative reading at SIP’s annual Spring event.

FAZ Restaurant, Grand Ballroom
1108 N. Mathilda Ave, Sunnyvale

Tickets: Free for Members, $15 for Non Members
Event Information: 408.236.2188

Read an event summary here.

University of Iowa Translation Carnival

March 31 to April 2, 2006

The University of Iowa Translaton Center hosts a translation colloquim and a carnival from March 31 to April 2.
Our Poetryfilms will screen on Sunday April 2.

Read an event summary here.

APADANA TV Interview

March 29, 2006

Apadana Satellite TV interviews Niloufar about the project and will screen footage from Paper Boats, the DVD of films based on poetry.

6:30 – 7:30 pm Pacific Standard Time (Los Angeles time)

AWP 2006

March 8-11, 2006

Our panel, “Iranians Translating Iranians”, will focus on the issues of translation with knowledge of Persian and without through translation intermediaries, the advantages and challenges of translating out of Persian by native and dominant speakers, and the opportunity to reverse the fetishization of Persian literature and re-introduce it to the western mind.

The Association of Writers and Writing Programs
AWP 2006 Annual Conference & Bookfair
March 8-11, 2006
Austin, Texas

Visible Verse 2005 Film Festival

November 20-21, 2005

Two of our short films, Tomorrow and Night, based respectively on the poetry of Abbas Saffari and Majid Naficy, screen at the Visible Verse 2005 Film Festival at Pacific Cinematheque in Vancouver, B.C.
7:30 pm, 1131 Howe Street, Vancouver

ALTA/LTAC Conference in Montreal

November 2-5, 2005

*Niloufar named an ALTA 2005 Fellow*
I moderate a panel on creating contemporary translations of Iranian poetry, and participate in a panel on editing anthologies at the 2005 American Literary Translator’s Association’s annual conference, as well as screen Paper Boats and do a reading of my translations of Shahrouz Rashid’s poetry.

November 2-5, Hotel Omni Mont-Royal, Montreal, Canada.

**SOLD OUT** Screening and Fundraiser

August 25, 2005

A ONE-NIGHT-ONLY SCREENING of PAPER BOATS: Short Films of Contemporary Iranian Poetry, a one of a kind artist collaboration, in this sneak-preview screening of a work in progress. Fusing San Francisco’s avant-garde dancers, performers, musicians and filmmakers with contemporary Iranian poetry, PAPER BOATS offers its audience a truly unique look at the collaborative process. PAPER BOATS features seven contemporary Iranian poems acted out by performers with live music composed for each poem to a sold-out house at the ODC Theater. Gaining one more level of interpretation, external images were added to the edited performance footage, creating powerful shorts. PAPER BOATS also includes a narrated section on the history of Persian poetry, a fascinating behind the scenes, as well as a coming attractions section. This unique event allows the audience to see its process, and the individual interpretation of the poetry that each collaborator brings to the piece as we invite support to take it to completion. Musical ensemble lead by Hafez Modirzadeh, ODC show directed by Zara Houshmand, production, design and choreography by Ballet Afsaneh, and editing by InVision Productions.

Dolby Laboratories
100 Potrero Avenue (cross street is Alameda)
San Francisco, CA
Reception 6:30 pm, Screening 7pm

Translator’s Panel at UC Irvine

May 20, 2005

Spirit of the Letter, The Translator’s Challenge: Panel discussion with recipients of the International Center for Writing & Translation’s (ICWT) grant: translators K. Suneetha Rani, Heather Marie Stoddard, Niloufar Talebi and Sergio Waisman.

4 p.m., Humanities Instructional Building, Room 135. Irvine, CA.
Free. Info: 949.824.1948.

Two Lines: A Journal of Translation–San Francisco

May 12, 2005

San Francisco launch of Bodies, the new issue of TWO LINES. Reception 6:30, reading 7:15 pm, The Blue Room Gallery, 2331 Mission Street (between 19th and 20th), San Francisco.

Periodically Speaking

May 10, 2005

The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses and the New York Public Library, CLMP/NYPL, present Periodically Speaking, a reading of Translations from the Axis of Evil. TTP represents Rattapallax Magazine.
6 pm, New York Public Library on 5th Avenue at 42nd street. DeWitt Wallace periodicals room.

Asia Society New York

April 26, 2005

TTP participates in a reading and celebration for Strange Times, My Dear, the PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature at the Asia Society. 6:30-8:00 pm at 725 Park Avenue, NYC.

IAAB Conference

April 23-25, 2005

Presenting a talk, Translating the 21st Century Iranian, as well as premiering Paper Boats, The Translation Project’s DVD of poetry in performance, in Washington D. C. April 23-24, 2005.
Iranian Alliance Across Borders annual conference.

Two Lines: A Journal of Translation-New York

April 20, 2005

Reading translation of Karbassi’s “Love is Lemony” in the new issue of TWO LINES: A Journal of Translation, Bodies. Followed by readings by Uwe Timm and Nuria Amat.
6-7:30 The Accompanied Library, 15 Gramercy Park South, Studio 6C (Inside the National Arts Club), NYC. A Pen World Voices Festival of International Literature event (see below event).

PEN American Center

April 16-22, 2005

PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature. Festival runs April 16-22, 2005, NYC. Reading translations published in Strange Times, My Dear, the PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature, ed. Nahid Mozaffari.
6-7 pm at The New School, 66 West 12th St.

Reading English translations of poets at UniVerse: World Literary Voices, Co-sponsored by Rattapallax and the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church.
9-10:30 pm at St. Mark’s Church, 131 East 10th st.

Gathering of International Poetry

December 14, 2004

POETS FOR PEACE and TTP host a featured reading of poetry and translations at the San Francisco Main Library. Readers include Ilya Kaminsky, Ravi Shankar, Fiona Lam, J.P. Dancing Bear, Pireeni Sundaralingam, Joyce Jenkins, Haleh Hatami, Igor Yevelev and Niloufar Talebi. Open and free to public.

Main Library, Lower Level, Latino/Hispanic Community Meeting Room, 2:00 – 4:30 p.m. 100 Larkin Street (at Grove)

Young Poets Series

December 13, 2004

TTP invites Ravi Shankar for a weekend of readings and discussions. Ravi reads from his book, Instrumentality, as well as selections of a forthcoming anthology he co-edits. Poetry Express, Priya Indian Cuisine, 2072 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley. 7-9:30. Hosted by Mark States.

*This event is supported by Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant it has received from The James Irvine Foundation.*

InLit: Reading Int’l Literature

December 12, 2004

TTP moderates a panel of editors and translators to explore how we read the literature of other cultures and how those cultures are unmade and remade through various representations such as translation. Panelists include Ilya Kaminsky, Ravi Shankar, Alejandro Murguia, Eileen Tabios.

Locus Arts 2857 – 24th street @ Bryant in SF (Galeria de la Raza).
2-3:30. $5. Reception to follow talk.

Training Institute

November 1, 2004

Teach a poetry class to tenants in supportive housing at the Community Housing Partnership in San Francisco.

Bilingual Reading at ALTA Conference

October 28, 2004

TTP is introducing three contemporary Iranian poets at this year’s ALTA conference in Las Vegas. Other readers include Mahmood Karimi-Hakkak, Anthony A. Lee and Sholeh Wolpe.

Deporting the American Dream

October 10, 2004

An evening of immigration awareness and community, featuring live music, poetry, silent art auction etc. Participants include Matt Gonzales, President of the SF Board of Supervisors, and Amnesty International and Global Exchange. A benefit event.

6pm – 1am, STUDIO Z, 314 – 11th Street @ Folsom, San Francisco. $7-$20 sliding scale.

Publication Reading

October 1, 2004

Hogtown Creek Review’s new issue is soon released, containing translations of Ziba Karbassi and Majid Naficy’s poems! Reading hosted by guest editor, Glenn Ingersoll.

7:30 pm – Escape From New York Pizza reading series, 333 Bush street, SF. $5 suggested donation goes to benefit.

Against Longing/Translation

June 16 through July 31, 2004

The Art of Illumination: Closing talk with visual artist, Ala Ebtekar, about translating language, culture and images. Elemental shows at Intersection for the Arts from June 16 through July 31. Talk is at 2 PM in the Gallery. FREE.

Declaration of Independence Lit. Forum

July 27, 2004

TTP participates in a public forum with independent presses, producers, presenters, and writers of all genres in an opportunity to talk about the most pressing issues facing the literary community in the Bay Area today. Intersection for the Arts – 446 Valencia (btwn 15/16) Mission District SF. 8 PM – FREE.

Poetry and Activism

July 2004

Inspired by the importance of translating works from the “axis of evil” countries or ones with which the US is under a trade embargo (OFAC Declaration), FESTIVALNERUDA organized a reading of The Translation Project poems. Accompanied by Dan O. reading his own poetry inspired by Neruda.

De Flor o Sangre

July 16, 2004

FESTIVALNERUDA, celebrating the centenary of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Recording of Neruda’s Love Poem 7 translated into Persian by Niloufar Talebi featured in sound installation.

Anna Akhmatova Birthday Celebration

May 29, 2004

As part of ARTSFEST2004, Art is Permitted Everywhere is hosting an open air birthday tribute poetry reading for the great Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova, celebrating her life and that of other “exiles” through readings of her and others’ works. The Translation Project will do a reading of the poems created in diaspora by Iranian poets which do, in fact, concentrate on the theme of exile, even if it does not solely gather poems about exile, or poems of exile.

Washington Square Park, San Francisco, Saturday May 29th 2-5pm.

To Begin Anew/Tavallodi Dobaareh

May 15, 2004

Concert at the Mexican Heritage Theater including segments of Four Springs.
Co-produced by Ballet Afsaneh
Watch Video:

Poetry and Pizza

March 5, 2004

A reading of poems to be included in the Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Poetry in Exile, a benefit for Ballet Afsaneh.

Four Springs-Theatrical Performance

January 26, 2004


Watch Performance Footage of Four Springs

Contemporary Iranian poetry finds its performative roots within a collaborative improvisational dynamic. Spoken text of poetry translated into English combined with traditional Persian instrumentation and improvisational style melded with jazz. Calling on dance vocabulary combining Central Asian and western movement, informed by the poetry as translated into dramatic verse. A cutting edge performance work which transcends all borders.

Music: Hafez Modirzadeh, Mohammad Nejad, royal hartigan

Dance: Aliah Najmabadi, Larissa Verduzen

Recitation: Niloufar Talebi, Ali Dadgar

Directed by: Zara Houshmand

Translations by Niloufar Talebi

Choreography: Sharlyn Sawyer of Ballet Afsaneh

Co-produced by the Translation Project and Afsaneh Art and Culture Society

Featuring the poetry of: Partow Nooriala (USA), Majid Naficy (USA), Ziba Karbassi (UK), Abbas Saffari (USA), Reza Farmand (Denmark), Saghi Ghahraman (Canada) and more.

One performance only Sunday, January 25th, 2004 at 7:00 pm at ODC Theater 3153 17th Street @ Shotwell in SAN FRANCISCO ! ! Tickets: $15 Purchase online: Ticketweb or purchase by Phone: ODC Theater Box Office (415) 863-9834


January 14, 2004

KPFA Interview with Niloufar Talebi and Zara Houshmand about the Four Springs Translation Project. Once there, click on 1/14/2004 to download interview. Listen to second segment of the one hour program.


Songs of Rumi: Souls Ablaze

December 7, 2003

13th century mystical poetry of Jelaluddin Rumi brought to life with original music, song and dance. With Coleman Barks reciting his translations, Nejad World Music, Aqnazar of Tajikistan, Ballet Afsaneh presenting dance and poetry. Benefit concert for The Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation
Sunday December 7th, 6pm, Sunset Center Theater, Carmel CA


Forough Farrokhzad

October 26, 2002

Evening of Central Asian poetry translated into English. Niloufar Talebi’s translation of Forough Farrokhzad’s Another Birth in collaboration with Sally Lee Stewart. Reading at Tuva Space in Berkeley.