Georgia Poetry Circuit Brings Award Winning International Poet to Brenau

Nov 3, 2014
Brenau Staff

Award-winning poet, Sholeh WolpeBrenau University will host a poetry reading by award-winning poet Sholeh Wolpé on Nov. 5 at 12:30 p.m. in Banks Recital Hall at the John S. Burd Center for the Performing Arts. After reading her selections from Keeping Time with Blue Hyacinths, Rooftops of Tehran and The Scar Saloon, Wolpé will follow up with a Q & A session at Brenau’s Writing Center in the Trustee Library at 3:30 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public, but seating is limited.

Wolpé’s presentation is part of her tour on the Georgia Poetry Circuit, a consortium of ten Georgia colleges and universities working together to bring poets of national and international reputation to participating colleges’ campuses.

Born in Iran with most of her teen years spent in Trinidad and the United Kingdom poet Sholeh Wolpé is also an editor and literary translator who has settled in the United States. Recipient of the 2014 PEN/Heim Award, the 2013 Midwest Book Award, and the 2010 Lois Roth Persian Translation Prize, Wolpé is the author of three collections of poems and two books of translations.

The Poetry Foundation wrote that “Wolpé’s concise, unflinching, and often wry free verse explores violence, culture, and gender. So many of Wolpé’s poems deal with the violent situation in the Middle East, yet she is ready to both bravely and playfully refuse to let death be too proud.”

She has also edited three anthologies. Her most recent works, Breaking the Jaws of Silence – Sixty American Poets Speak to the World and Keeping Time with Blue Hyacinths, were published by the University of Arkansas Press in 2013.

In an interview with Words with Writers blog, Wolpé emphasized how music helped to shape her poetry: “When I was a child, I didn’t speak a lick of English, but was fascinated with the music of the English language. I used to listen to an American radio station, then an English one, and compare the music of their speech. Now when I write poems, the music is perhaps more present for me than it is for a native speaker. To me, music is what gives form to my poetry. As for content, it’s all about how I see and absorb the world. Isn’t that so for most writers?”

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