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In Celebration of International Women’s Day: Poets of Existence | Oakland

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Friday, March 16, 2018 - 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | Cost: FREE*
*Free and open to the public

Oakland Asian Cultural Center | 388 9th Street, Oakland, CA

The Oakland Asian Cultural Center presents Three Award Winning Poets in Celebration of International Women’s Day,  Deema K. Shehabi – Persis Karim – Shadab Zeest Hashmi

Poets of Existence

DEEMA K. SHEHABI is a Palestinian poet, writer, and editor. Her poems have appeared widely in journals and anthologies such as The Kenyon Review, Literary Imagination, New Letters, and Callaloo. Her full collection Thirteen Departures From the Moon was published by Press 53 in 2011. She is also co-editor with Beau Beausoleil of Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here (PM Press), for which she received the Northern California Book Award’s NCBR Recognition Award. During 2009 – 2013 she worked with Marilyn Hacker on the Renga sequence DiaspoRenga. Deema’s two plays, “Light not Touched by Fire” and “A Handful of White Petals,” were performed by the Arabian Shakespeare’s Company’s New Works Festivals.

PERSIS KARIM is the Neda Nobari Chair of the newly-established Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies and a professor in the Comparative and World Literature department at SF State. She is the editor/co-editor of three anthologies of Iranian diaspora literature: Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian American Writers (2013); Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora (2006), and A World Between: Poems, Short Stories and Essays by Iranian-Americans (1999). She has written numerous articles on modern Iranian literature and Iranian diaspora literature for journals such as Iranian Studies, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, and MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States. Her poetry has appeared in Caesura, HeartLodge, The New York Times, Callaloo, and other publications.

SHADAB ZEEST HASHMI is a Pakistani-American poet and essayist. Her latest work is Ghazal Cosmopolitan, a collections of poems and essays on the culture and craft of the ghazal form. She is a recipient of the San Diego Book Award, the Nazim Hikmet Prize and multiple Pushcart nominations. Her work has been translated into Spanish and Urdu, and has appeared in anthologies and journals worldwide. She has taught in the MFA program at San Diego State University as a writer-in-residence and has presented in Turkey, Spain, Pakistan, Mexico and the UK. Poems from her books Kohl and Chalk and Baker of Tarifa have been included in the Language Arts curriculum for grades 7-12 and college courses in Literature and Muslim History.

Musical Guests:

FARAZ MINOOEI was born in Tehran and began playing santur at the young age of nine. Faraz received his B.A. from San Francisco State University in 2008 as a Nagle Scholar and the first World/Jazz music major with santur as his primary instrument. As a full-time musician, Faraz is a performer, composer, ethno-musicologist and teacher. Since 2006, he has lectured and performed at many universities including SFSU, UCI, UCLA, UCSC Stanford University and at the Society of Ethnomusicology. He has performed with noted ensembles in the United States, among which was his collaboration in 2009 with Yo Yo Ma and Kayhan Kalhor in the Silk Road Ensemble (for the 50th anniversary of the Lincoln Center). Recipient of numerous scholarships and grants, he earned his Masters of Fine Arts degree in music with emphasis in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology from the University of California in Irvine.

HOSSEIN MASSOUDI moved to the Bay Area in 1994. Steeped in the folkloric Kurdish vocal tradition of his native Iran, he integrates his love of Persian Classical with his Kurdish roots, resulting in a musicality which is rarely heard. Hossein is largely a self-trained and intuitive singer. He was a member of the San Francisco City Chorus for four seasons, and attended San Francisco State University vocal Jazz Combo under jazz singer Molly Holm for over a year. Hossein’s style reflects a union of these diverse traditions with his original interpretations and an improvisatory approach that moves effortlessly from the soulful to the whimsical. He is a founding member of Aleph Null (world, middle eastern, and jazz) ensemble since 1997.

Accompanied by the Composer and Santur Player Faraz Minooei

Vocalist Hossein Massoudi

Free and Open to the Public

Event Details

Cost: FREE*
*Free and open to the public


Categories: International Women's Day, Literature, Live Music, Poetry
Address: 388 9th Street, Oakland, CA
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