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.
Listed in: Poetry
As an Iranian American poet, Roger Sedarat fuses Western and Eastern traditions to reinvent the classical Persian form of the ghazal. For its humor as well as its spirituality, the poems in this collection can perhaps best be described as “Wallace Stevens meets Rumi.” Perhaps most striking is the poet’s use of the ancient ghazal form in the tradition of the classical masters like Hafez and Rumi to politically challenge the Islamic Republic of Iran’s continual crackdown on protesters.
“In his new collection of poetry, Roger Sedarat strikes the perfect balance between Eastern and Western expression, between the modern and the medieval, and between the sacred and the profane. A delight on every page, one can’t help but imagine that if Hafez, Rumi, and other Sufi mystic poets — even Goethe — were transported to the twenty–first century, their tweets might read something like this.”
Hooman Majd, author of The Ayatollahs’ Democracy: An Iranian Challenge
Winner of the 2007 Hollis Summers Poetry Prize
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.
“A gutsy book that deserves wide readership.”
Rigoberto González, Harriet: A Blog from the National Poetry Foundation