Award- winning poet, Sholeh Wolpé to lecture at BSC

Published 6:04 pm Friday, January 23, 2015

By Susanne Reynolds

Special to The Post-Searchlight

Acclaimed poet, writer, editor, and literary translator Sholeh Wolpé will visit Bainbridge State College on Monday, Feb. 2.

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Wolpé will give a craft lecture and workshop for aspiring writers beginning at 4:30 p.m. Afterwards, a reading from her work will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a book signing. Both events, as well as a reception with light refreshments, will be held at the Kirbo Center Solarium, located on the BSC main campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Born in Iran, Wolpé spent most of her teen years in Trinidad and the UK before settling in the United States. A recipient of the 2014 PEN/Heim award, 2014 Hedgebrook Residency, 2013 Midwest Book Award and 2010 Lois Roth Persian Translation prize, Wolpé is the author of three collections of poetry—The Scar Saloon, Rooftops of Tehran and Keeping Time with Blue Hyacinths—and two books of translations. She has also edited three anthologies.

“Sholeh Wolpé’s poems are political, satirical, and unflinching in the face of war, tyranny and loss,” fellow poet and novelist Chris Abani wrote of her work. “Talismanic and alchemical, they attempt to transmute experience into the magic of the imagined. But they also dare to be tender and funny lyrical moments.”

Wolpé’s anthologies have received critical acclaim as well. Robert Olen Butler lauded Breaking the Jaws of Silence as “a deeply humane and aesthetically exhilarating collection.” The Forbidden: Poems from Iran and Its Exiles, a recipient of the 2013 Midwest Book Award, includes many of Wolpé’s own translations.

Her writings have been translated into several languages and her work included in numerous American and international anthologies of poetry and fiction. Wolpé, based in Los Angeles, has taught poetry and literary translation at Stonecoast’s MFA program and has been featured and participated in many festivals, international programs and university events.

The event is the second of three co-sponsored during the 2014-15 academic year by the Georgia Poetry Circuit and the Bainbridge State College Cultural Arts Series. Charles Hanzlicek (The Lives of