Yuba Lit will present an online reading and discussion with local treasure Zara Houshmand sharing her new translations of Rumi’s poetry, on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Houshmand, a writer and literary translator based in Nevada City, will read from Moon and Sun, her translations of Rumi’s poetry. The book is available through The Book Seller in Grass Valley and Harmony Books in Nevada City, and has received stellar reviews.
Houshmand began translating Rumi as a way of studying deeply the13th century Sufi mystic poet, whose popular American translations have often erased his cultural roots. Her poem-a-day translation practice began 20 years ago and evolved into the beautifully designed bilingual book that has just been released. Writes Ali Manai of news aggregator 3 Quarks Daily, “[Houshmand] has found a flawless idiom that is completely modern, yet captures the timeless quality of Rumi’s poetry to perfection… retaining the poetic essence of the original, Houshmand’s translations take the reader to the very core of Rumi’s mystical world [. . .] Moon and Sun will, no doubt, immediately become an essential part of the Rumi canon for our time.”
Houshmand’s work has focused on using empathy to bridge cultural divides, reflecting her background as an Iranian American and her experience living in many countries. As well as poetry and creative nonfiction, her work includes theater and virtual reality as an art form. Adding to the international perspective, award-winning author Stephanie Sauer, native to Nevada City but now based in Brazil, will emcee the online program and interview Houshmand live from Rio de Janeiro.
Yuba Lit celebrates literary community, and is optimistic that the same constraints that have kept us all at home for months have also created new opportunities for far-reaching connection. The organization first explored meeting virtually for an urgent online conversation on racial justice and how to create spaces welcoming and supportive to all in the Yuba Lit community. The intimate and engaging format proved successful and sparked the current plans for reviving regular Yuba Lit events online.
This event with Zara Houshmand is free. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP and receive connection information.
Houshmand’s Moon and Sun is available for purchase online here: https://zarahoushmand.com/moon-and-sun/