ROGER SEDARAT

Author of four poetry books including just released Haji as Puppet: An Orientalist Burlesque, (Word Works. 2017). Winner of 2016 Tenth Gate Prize for Mid-Career Poets, Leslie McGrath, judge and just released Foot Faults: Tennis Poems (David Robert Books, 2016). Also, author of  Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic, which won Ohio University Press’s Hollis Summers’ Prize, and Ghazal Games (Ohio UP, 2011).

Roger teaches creative writing (poetry and literary translation) in the MFA program at Queens College, City University of New York, he teaches and writes on such academic interests as 19th and 20th century American literature as well as Middle Eastern-American literature. Currently, Roger is working toward translating a full-length collection of ghazals by the 14th century Sufi Persian poet, Hafez.

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BOOKS

JUST RELEASED

Haji as Puppet: An Orientalist Burlesque

Winner of 2016 Tenth Gate Prize
Cover Art by Nicky Nodjoumi

What do you get when you cross political theater with poetry with growing up Iranian-American in Texas? This surprising and unique collection of poems, Haji As Puppet. Roger Sedarat’s fourth book shows the genius of full-throated political commentary when its reigning restraints are linguistic skill and uproarious humor.

“Roger Sedarat has created what I consider one of the greatest masterpieces of the Iranian-American canon. Haji as Puppet is a psychedelic romp through ancient Persian psyche all the way through modern Iranian hellscapes via the American imagination. This piercing Middle Eastern minstrelsy is unapologetically raw in its collisions with race, gender, sexuality, and pop culture. Sedarat truly understands the punk soul of Persian satire, and the way conviviality lives with calamity and pandemonium razes ritual. This is not your baba’s Rumi–and thank goodness!” –-Porochista Khakpour

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Nature and Nostalgia in the Poetry of Nader Naderpour

Co-Auhtored with Rouhollah Zarei

As a representative twentieth-century Persian poet, Nader Naderpour effectively begins to challenge the distance between reader and text. Using common language to reach his audience in a colloquial voice, he nevertheless retains a nostalgic relationship to nature through vividly accessible images. In this respect he seems to embody an ongoing transition to modern poetics in Iran. His sensibility to nature especially affords a way of understanding in English translation both his own specific work, as well as the complex country from which it derives.

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Foot Faults: Tennis Poems

First Published Collection of Tennis Poems

A completely unique read. Foot Faults: Tennis Poems is funny and insightful. Not just for tennis players but for anyone that likes to find humor and meaning in new challenges.

“These poems give delightful shape and concision to every thought — stray, deep-felt, nagging — you’ve had as a tennis player. Read them, recognize yourself, and smile.” — Gerald Marzorati, author of Late to the Ball: Age. Learn. Fight. Love.  Play Tennis. Win and former editor of New York Times Magazine.

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Ghazal Games

Western and Eastern Reinvention of the Ghazal.

For its humor as well as its spirituality, the poems in this collection can perhaps best be described as “Wallace Stevens meets Rumi.” Perhaps most striking is the poet’s use of the ancient ghazal form in the tradition of the classical masters like Hafez and Rumi to politically challenge the Islamic Republic of Iran’s continual crackdown on protesters. Not since the late Agha Shahid Ali has a poet translated the letter as well as the spirit of this form into English, using musicality and inventive rhyme to extend the reach of the ghazal in a new language and tradition.

“These poems are to be savored in their audacity — in turn witty, erotic, ludic, learned, engaged. Roger Sedarat’s ghazals bridge the form’s (and the poet’s) Persian sources to American demotic language, and open couplet windows on transnational reality.”
— Marilyn Hacker, winner of the National Book Award and author of Names: Poems

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Dear Regime:

Letters to the Islamic Republic

Winner of Ohio University Press’s Hollis Summers’ Prize

Written in a style that is as sure-footed as it is experimental, Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic confronts the past and current injustices of the Iranian government while retaining a sense of respect and admiration for the country itself. Woven into this collection are the author’s vivid descriptions of the landscape as well as the people of Iran. Throughout, Sedarat exhibits a keen appreciation for the literary tradition of Iran, and in making it new, attempts to preserve the culture of a country he still claims as his own.

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CONTACT

ROGER SEDARAT, PHD

Department of English
Queens College, City University of New York
65-30 Kissena Blvd. ,
Flushing NY, 11367
Roger.Sedarat@qc.cuny.edu
718-997-4713