TORONTO. This is what one writer, Saghi Ghahraman, said about living and writing in exile. On June 6, 2006 three celebrated Iranian writers will share their thoughts about living and writing in exile, read from their works and reflect on life in the Middle East at the Toronto Writers' Centre. Writers Nooshin Salari, Fereshteh Molavi and Saghi Ghahraman were all born in Iran and fled at various times and for various reasons and came to Canada. What language to write in? Who are we writing for? Does one simply disassociate from one?s country of origin? How to make ends meet and pursue a writing path? These are some of the questions that weigh heavy on the minds of writers in exile.
Saghi Ghahraman was born in Mash'had, Iran, in 1957. She fled Iran in 1981 after country-wide arrests of Tudeh Party members and its women's organization branch took place. She lived as a refugee in Turkey before immigrating to Canada in 1988. She has published four collections of Persian poetry and short fiction, and has given readings in Europe through Persian literary organizations of writers-in-exile as well as, in English, at Montreal's Blue Metropolis festival. She has been an editorial board member of Sepidar, a Persian literary magazine in Toronto, and contributed to various Persian quarterlies and magazines. She has participated as a featured speaker on several PEN Canada Readers & Writers events. She is currently working on translating poetry from Farsi to English to be published in Descant next fall. Saghi will read from a piece about being a refugee, some erotica and a poem in Farsi.
Fereshteh Molavi was born in Iran and has been living in Toronto for five years. She has worked for many years as a freelance editor and translator, as well as a bibliographer and scholar. While still living in Iran she published The House of Cloud and Wind, a novel, The Sunny Fairy, a collection of short stories, The Orange and the Lime, a prose work, and The Iranian Garden, a poetry collection. Molavi also compiled and published a comprehensive bibliography of short stories in Farsi or translated into Farsi. She has also published essays, including several published in Toronto Iranian magazines. She is currently a writer-in-residence at Yale and is writing a novella and short stories. Fereshteh will read from her novel and some short stories including one where the protagonist, an Iranian lawyer shares her thoughts on ?the veil?.
Nooshin Salari was born in Tabriz, Iran. She immigrated to Canada in 1992. She attended the University of Saskatchewan and obtained her degree in Pharmacy. Salari began writing short stories as a teenager in Tehran, Iran. Her first story, "School Library", appeared in 1980 in Negeen magazine. Since then, her stories have appeared in different literary magazines in Iran including the World of Words. Several of her stories have also appeared in various volumes of the Anthology of Short Stories by Iranian and World
Writers (selected by Safdar Taghizadeh) as well as a collection of short stories by contemporary Iranian female writers called At the Threshold of a Cold Season (selected by Toraj Rahnama and Susan Gaveri). Salari's first collection of short stories, The End of the Apple Tree, was published by Movarid Press in Tehran in 2004. She has completed a second collection of short stories and is currently working on her first novel. The two collections of short stories are in translation. The authors come to the Toronto Writers? Centre with support from PEN Canada.
PEN Canada and the Toronto Writers' Centre have teamed up on a residency program for exiled writers. Beginning June 1, three writers from PEN Canada's Writers in Exile Network Petronila Cleto of the Philippines, Gordana Icevska of Macedonia and Sheng Xue of China will be placed at the TWC for a three-month period. They will be given free access to all writing and research facilities and form an integral part of the writing community at the Centre.
The Toronto Writers' Centre, opened earlier this month to writers of all kinds and offers emerging and established writers the opportunity to concentrate on their craft in a quiet and professional environment. Spacious and centrally located, it will also provide a creative hub for writers to network, share ideas and attend regularly programmed literary events like The Writer in Exile.
The Writer in Exile
June 6, 2006, 7:00 pm
Toronto Writers? Centre
101 Yorkville Avenue, Suite 200, Toronto, Ontario
$10.00 for non-members. Free for Toronto Writers? Centre members
Reserve tickets by calling (416) 975-5172 or email email@example.com
For more information on joining the Toronto Writers' Centre, visit www.writerscentre.ca.
For more information and media enquires, please contact Jennifer Murray at (416) 820-9707 or firstname.lastname@example.org