“A gutsy book that deserves wide readership.”
Rigoberto González, Harriet: A Blog from the National Poetry Foundation
“We can only hope the regime will welcome the humanity and talent so palpable in this book, which we in the U.S. should gratefully welcome, too.”
“Dear Regime is a stunning collection of poems that vividly captures all aspects of the Iranian culture.”
Nahid Rachlin, author of Persian Girls and Jumping over Fire
“Roger Sedarat mixes the surreal with the actual in a poetic landscape that is as terrifying as it is stunning.”
Kimiko Hahn, author of The Narrow Road to the Interior
In his provocative, brave, and sometimes brutal first book of poems, Roger Sedarat directly addresses the possibility of political change in a nation that some in America consider part of “the axis of evil.” Iranian
on his father’s side, Sedarat explores the effects of the Islamic Revolution of 1979—including censorship, execution, and pending war—on the country as well as on his understanding of his own origins. Written in a style that is as sure-footed as it is experimental, Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic confronts the past and current injustices of the Iranian government while retaining a sense of respect and admiration for the country itself. Woven into this collection are the author’s vivid
descriptions of the landscape as well as the people of Iran. Throughout, Sedarat exhibits a keen appreciation for the literary tradition of Iran, and in
making it new, attempts to preserve the culture of a country he still claims as his own.
With honesty of homemade butter,
paddle-churned cream (eshta in Arabic,
ecstasy foaming to the brim), a woman
river-bathes, sheet of oil-black hair breaking
in rapids, cut lemon scintillating
olive skin free of tree-stumped chador, skirts
within skirts, peal of her bell-body rung
muffled in Iran heat—a splash of white.
The rhythm of pumice scraping her feet,
sandbar against warm current, frothy cape
a bee-bubbled hive, honeyed trace curling
to her bare knees, thick transparent lather.
At a Tehran bazaar endless gold-stores
could never return me anywhere pure.
Roger Sedarat is an assistant professor in the MFA program at Queens College. He is the recipient of scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference as well as a St. Botolph Society poetry grant. His verse has appeared in such journals as New England Review, Atlanta Review, and Poet Lore.
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In his new collection of poems, Dick Davis, the acclaimed author of Belonging, addresses themes that he has long worked with—travel, the experience of being a stranger, the clash of cultures, the vagaries of love, the pleasures and epiphanies of meaning that art allows us.
Like a voyage to the Portuguese islands of the title, the poems in Azores arrive at their striking and hard-won destinations over the often-treacherous waters of experience—a man mourns the fact that he cannot not mourn, a father warns his daughter about harsh contingency, an unnamed visitor violently disrupts a quiet domestic scene. The ever-present and uncomfortable realities of envy, lust, and mortality haunt the book from poem to poem.
There are worlds within our own in which even the smallest victories are hard won, the tender moment is almost unbearable, and the understated rings like a bell. Belonging, a new collection by British poet Dick Davis, is an extended visit to these worlds.
Poet, teacher, and critic, Yvor Winters was a man of letters in more ways than one. This selection of his personal correspondence spans half a century of literary history and a lifetime of intellectual development and growth. As a record of a serious artist and thinker's grappling with important issues and, sometimes, with his notable friends, the letters offer new and often unexpected insight into the creative mind at work.