Iranian-American poet/writer/playwright Sholeh Wolpé and Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour are joined by Nathalie Handal, editor of the groundbreaking classic The Poetry of Arab Women: A Contemporary Anthology, and multiple prize-winning poet Lory Bedikian for readings and conversations on bridging the gap between perceptions and reality of cultural norms. The artists will dig deep into the lives they live and the lives that people in the West imagine for them. Moderated by award-winning actor/writer Sandra Tsing Loh.
Nassim Soleimanpour's most recent play, Nassim, will be performed as part of our 2020/21 Season in April 2021.
At the scheduled livestream time, tune in to this page or our Facebook page to watch the video live.
Highlights from Season 1 of Red Hen Press Poetry Hour
Lory Bedikian's first collection The Book of Lamenting was awarded the 2010 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry. She earned an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon, where she was awarded the Dan Kimble First Year Teaching Award for Poetry. Bedikian’s newer work has been published in Miramar, has been featured on the Best American Poetry blog as part of the "Where My Dreaming and My Loving Live: Poetry & the Body" series, is included in the Fall 2018 issue of Tin House and appears in recent issues of The Los Angeles Review and MORIA, as well as on Poets.org. Her work has been selected several times as a finalist in the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition and in the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award Competition and has received grants from the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial fund and AFFMA. Poets & Writers chose her work as a finalist for the 2010 California Writers Exchange Award. Additionally, her poetry was included in the anthology Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, Beyond Baroque Books, 2015 and chosen as a finalist in the 2015 AROHO Orlando Competition.
Nathalie Handal is the editor of the groundbreaking classic The Poetry of Arab Women: A Contemporary Anthology, winner of the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Book Award, and named one of the top 10 Feminist Books by The Guardian; and co-editor of the W.W. Norton landmark anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond, both Academy of American Poets bestsellers.
An independent multidisciplinary theatre maker from Tehran, Iran, Nassim Soleimanpour’s plays have been translated into 20 languages. Best known for White Rabbit Red Rabbit, written to travel the world when he couldn’t, his work has been awarded the Dublin Fringe Festival Best New Performance, Summerworks Outstanding New Performance Text Award and The Arches Brick Award (Edinburgh Fringe) as well as picking up nominations for a Total Theatre and Brighton Fringe Pick of Edinburgh Award.
Poet, writer and literary translator, Sholeh Wolpé’s performances, solo or in collaboration with musicians and artists, have been hailed by audiences as mesmerizing. She is the recipient of a 2014 PEN Heim, 2013 Midwest Book Award and 2010 Lois Roth Persian Translation prize, as well as artist fellowship and residencies in the U.S., Mexico, Spain, Australia and Switzerland. Her plays have been finalists and semifinalists at Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Centenary Stage Women Playwrights, and Ashland New Plays Festival.