Born in Tabriz, Northwestern Iran, now exiled Ziba Karbassi has garnered a reputation outside of her home country as one of the foremost contemporary Persian poets. Her work is suffused with themes of violence and memory, as she explores the personal trauma created out of the effects of political strife. Touching on issues ranging from the loss of one's home to the horrors of an execution by stoning, this selection of her poetry illustrates how Karbassi weaves together an array viscerally explosive emotions through a sustained virtuosic use of language and rhythm.
Translator Stephen Watts describes Karbassi's poetry as "essentially and almost paradoxically Iranian", and he translates her work with great sensitivity to Karbassi's personal experiences and with a clear sense of admiration. These poems make for intensely evocative which are as emotionally draining as they are emotionally resonant, establishing a powerful poetic voice in response to inexpressible political violence.
For publication September 2019