Monday, July 30, 2007

Mahboobeh and Ahl by Reza Dansevhar

Stretching across forty years of Iranian history, Mahboobeh and Ahl tells the allergorical story of a young woman and the demon that haunts her, beginning at the outset of World War II and ending with the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Told with the simplicity of a folk tale, it explores the oppression of women within the contexts of tradition and modernity, leavening its critique with humor, beauty, and poetry. Reza Daneshvar has written four novels in Persian, three short story collections, and seven plays. This is his first publication in English; it is translated by Ashurbanipal Babilla and edited by Nahid Mozaffari and Deborah Tall. Reza Daneshvar currently lives in Paris and works as a radio journalist. Read an interview with Reza Daneshvar at

From Mahboobeh and Ahl

"The story they told was that Mahboobeh's father's aunt, Hajar, was responsible for the family's uprooting in the year one thousand, three hundred, and eighteen of the Hijra. A few months before Mahboobeh's birth in the city, the wind demon unleashed a savage storm from his sack, tearing up God's good earth, and exposing, bit by bit, for all to see, the remains of the aunt, gruesomely slain. Wailing and scandal filled the land...."

31 pages
ISBN 0-9702498-4-5

God's Breath by Roni Fuller

Written in a maelstrom of grief, God's Breath is a testament to love torn asunder and a musing about how the structures of Jewish life give shape to feelings that seem uncontrollable. Roni Fuller grew up in a small town in Southern California, and began writing poetry more than fifty years ago. He has also lived in Israel, El Salvador, and on the Navajo Reservation. He currently lives in Brooktondale, NY with a son and a granddaughter. You can read more of Roni's poetry at

From God's Breath

The wind breathes life,
as God's breath,
the sacred name,
seemed to carry you away.
I watched your calm breathing
slow and stop,
as planets spun
a plotted course,
as leaves unfolded,
as streams flowed on.

ISBN 0-9702498-5-3

The Speech of Pebbles by Yi Ping

The Speech of Pebbles by Chinese poet and human rights activist Yi Ping is his first collection in English. The poems were translated by a group of poetry students at Ithaca College, directed by their teacher Jerry Mirskin. Yi Ping was born in 1952 in Beijing. As a teenager during the Cultural Revolution, he was sent to the countryside, where he met his wife, translator Lin Zhou. After returning to Beijing, he participated in the Students' Democracy Movement and was permanently banned from teaching and forbidden to publish his work. In 1991, Yi Ping fled to Poland, and in 1997 he was granted political asylum by the U.S. government. In 2001-2003, he was the first writer in residence for the Ithaca City of Asylum program. Currently, he edits the web magazine Human Rights in China ( The Chinese and English versions of each poem appear in the book.

From The Speech of Pebbles


Return now to what is true.
The simple clarity
of soil and sky.
The field of stones.

Time fades quickly.
Let impermanence dawn.
The origins and commonalities,
water and wind,
elements of forever
pelting the cliffs.

Calm and solemn
light shines upon the ruins.
The work of time.
The silence of motion
from earth to stars.

An end. A beginning.

Translated by Betsy Strong

In Chinese and English
ISBN 0-9702498-3-7

Naming the Disappeared by Ann Silsbee

Naming the Disappeared is a carefully written chapbook of compact poems, many of which are inspired by photographs by Dorothea Lange. Writer Ann Silsbee was a composer and poet whose works were widely performed and published. She was married to the physicist Robert Silsbee, whose photographs illustrate the chapbook, and had three sons.

from Naming the Disappeared

The Storyteller

listens inside his corral of bones
head back eye-gates closed mouth rut-circled
shows not a hint of hoofbeat or neigh
though you know he feels story nudge him
kick in his belly nose at his lungs
When his eyes flare white he'll not stand tame
in his baggy raincoat He'll seize us
jump ahorse with us gallop us off
flinging his wide brimmed hat to the wind

ISBN 0-9702498-1-0