About the Organization

View our brochure
View our brochure


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.

What we are:

Literary Organization – Books, Conferences and Festivals
Translators walk a fine line between preserving the innovation of the original text while communicating words and ideas that are fresh and resonant in the target language. The Translation Project works between these two points of negotiation and presents the results via books, conferences and festivals. This being our core activity, we introduce our expanded notion of translation by presenting multimedia art projects based on this literature.

Production Company – Collaborations in Theater, Film and Multimedia
The Translation Project creates and/or produces theater, multimedia presentations, and DVDs of short films, such as Midnight Approaches. As part of our mission to represent Iranians with emblems and icons they can be proud of, we also instigate collaborations between new generations of Iranian artists and established artists with global reputations.

Service Organization – Providing professional translation, editing and consulting services
Details for our services


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 available for touring. Contact us for bookings.

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), edited and translated by 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.

For readings, appearances and bookings, contact Talia Shapiro at North Atlantic Books.

4. ICARUS/RISE: The SF Examiner calls it “…the festival’s crown jewel…” 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 available for touring. Contact us for bookings.

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.


Vision for the Future:

1. More Multimedia theatrical pieces

2. More works of literary translation

3. An International Institute of Iranian Letters for the preservation and promotion of Iranian literature, which has been subject to censorship inside Iran, as well as to lack of a systematic approach to worldwide translations. Committees will select literary texts of consequence and commission translations into major world languages such as Mandarin, Russian, Arabic, French, and English.