Creative Writing Publications
Book: Ghazal Games
"In his new collection of poetry, Ghazal Game, Roger Sedarat strikes the perfect balance between Eastern and Western expression, between the modern and the medieval, and between the sacred and the profane. A delight on every page, one can't help but imagine that if Hafez, Rumi, and other Sufi mystic poets-even Goethe-were transported to the 21st Century, their tweets might read something like this."
--Hooman Majd, author of The Ayatollah Begs to Differ and The Ayatollahs' Democracy
Ghazal Games overflows with intelligent charm: its well-formed couplets, fueled by iconoclasm, are blessed with clarity, goodheartedness, pizzazz, and
prankishness. Let’s crown Roger Sedarat the king of Carnival; long may he reign.
--Wayne Koestenbaum, author of Best Selling Jewish Porn Films (Turtle Point, 2006).
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
Book: Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic.
"Dear Regime will aptly serve to introduce a whole new generation of readers to an articulate body of free verse and prose poetry that is as superbly crafted as it is memorable in both theme and substance. "
Midwest Book Review, — “Library Bookwatch”, Vol. 3, No. 5; May 2008
" Dear Regime gives new meaning to the term “poetic justice,” since it presents a critique of your family’s homeland, but also an appreciation for Persian culture, which continues to be misunderstood by the Western world. How did you position the speaker of the poems to effectively express this complex relationship with the subject matter?"
Small Press Spotlight: Roger Sedarat, — Critical Mass; March 16, 2008
" Roger Sedarat’s poems were striking. His book, Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic, doesn’t come out until the end of the year, but if today’s reading is any indication, he has a very bright future. His work is at times hilarious, (especially his riff on the ghazal), but also smart and full of feeling, as he fixes his poetic gaze/brain on Iran, the nation his family emigrated from."
Harriet: — A Blog from the Poetry Foundation; Jan. 30, 2008
“A gutsy book that deserves wide readership.”
Rigoberto González — Harriet: A Blog from the National Poetry Foundation
“We can only hope the regime will welcome the humanity and talent so palpable in this book, which we in the U.S. should gratefully welcome, too.”
“Dear Regime is a stunning collection of poems that vividly captures all aspects of the Iranian culture.”
Nahid Rachlin — author of Persian Girls and Jumping over Fire
“Roger Sedarat mixes the surreal with the actual in a poetic landscape that is as terrifying as it is stunning.”
Kimiko Hahn — author of The Narrow Road to the Interior
“This is poetry that requires not only conscience but courage.”
David Lehman — author of The Oxford Book of American Poetry
Book: New England Landscape History in American Poetry: A Lacanian View
OVERVIEW: As the first region in America, New England offers a locus in which to better understand the emergence of poetic voices closely identified with the experience of their surroundings. Tracking these voices in the verse of four seminal poets over the course of roughly one hundred years allows for a thorough survey of common links as to how speakers respond to historical shifts as well as how they view the landscape in the context of a shared literary tradition. Though scholars have explored the relationship between the work of these four poets and the New England region, the primal lyric tension that ultimately defines the voices that readers have come to identify as "Dickinson" or "Lowell" warrant closer investigation. No study has yet to use Lacanian psychoanalysis to read the speakers of this verse in the context of historical changes in their surroundings. This post-structural reading allows for arguably the closest consideration as to how voices take shape in the New England region based upon how the various speakers view the landscape they inhabit through a version of Emerson's perspective via his paradoxically "transparent eyeball": an invisible presence that remains in the foreground because of rhetoric that describes it. For these speakers, history as well as literary tradition serves as such rhetorical covering , which in part offers a new way of considering how they come to sound like they come from "New England" by their visual experience of the environment. In connecting what has become rather standard post-structural theory to the practical relevance of local New England history, this book strives to bridge a recurring divide in literary study. Using Lacanian psychoanalysis to look specifically at the poetic speakers in part makes such an interdisciplinary examination possible. To "see New Englandly" ironically means to be seen by the formative historical effects of New England. Cultural movements shaping the experience of the speakers' surroundings thus inform their conscious and unconscious desires as they in turn project such desires onto the land. The paradox of Emersonian vision especially central to the poetry of Wallace Stevens, wherein transparency gets covered with textual awareness, comes to exemplify this regional view taken by the speakers in the verse of the other poets here as well. The connection of Emerson's transparent eyeball in the New England landscape to the Lacanian gaze offers a means to extend a fundamental trope for lyric vision in the region. Such a critical and theoretical link especially in Stevens's verse offers a revision of readings by scholars like Harold Bloom and Richard Poirier who, though recognizing the importance of Emerson's eyeball as a metaphor of visual priority, have refrained from examining its full implications in a collective body of American literature. The insights that follow such an analysis perhaps make the strongest contribution to the existing scholarship of New England poetry by broadening the scope of the region and the reach of the historical effects that define it. The site of the Lacanian béance-defined as the gap between nature and the symbolic-which ultimately defines the speakers' inherent self-division, consistently charges the poetry with the greatest tension, paradoxically linking speakers to New England by threatening to disrupt their imaginative connection to their surroundings. This recurring gap around which vision and rhetoric move ultimately make the speakers of Stevens and the other three poets more regional than any slight reference to pine trees, barns, or graveyards. This is an important book for readers interested in American poetry (especially the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, and Robert Lowell), psychoanalysis and literature, deconstructive analyses of modern poetry, and New England regional history.
Books: The Unsaid: Selected Poems of Nader Naderpour, Trans. Roger Sedarat and Rouhollah Zarei (Under Review).
Chapbooks: From Tehran to Texas. Somerville: Cervena Barva Press, 2008.
“American.” Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow Poets Anthology, vol. 2. Red Wheel Barrow Poets, Rutherford, NJ (forthcoming).
“Qasida for Mutanabbi Street.” Mutanabbi Street Starts Here. Red Hen Press (forthcoming).
“Haji as Stick Figure.” Juxtapositions: Ideas for College Writers,
3rd ed. Ed. Marlene Clark. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007: 264-265.
"Outing Iranians" and "Bobback Duke." Voices of the City: Newark
Reads Poetry 2004. Ed. Rosamond King et al. New York: Hanging Loose
Press, 2004: 87-88.
"Honeymoon." Touched by Eros. Ed. George Held. Islip: Live Poets Society, 2002: 47.
"Obstruction of Construction" qtd. under "Ancient Paths." 2000 Poet's Market. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 2000: 40
Nader Naderpour’s “An Elegy for Desert and City,” “Geography,” and
“From the Train Window,” co-translated with Dr. Rouhollah Zarei, Ezra:
An Online Journal of Translation (forthcoming).
Nader Naderpour’s “Flood” and “Elegy for Desert and City,”
co-translated with Dr. Rouhollah Zarei, Drunken Boat, Issue 10, Summer
Hafez’s Ghazal # “45,” co-translated with Dr. Ali Reza Behnami, The Iranian.com.
“Protest Ghazal #1” and “(Is) Iran,” IranJustice.com.
"Ghazal Game #84: Pin the Tail on the Middle-Eastern Donkey," Zoland Poetry, Vol. 4, Spring 2009 (Forthcoming).
“The Prophet as Analysand,” “The Prophet as Sufi Tour Guide of the
Old Country,” “Haji as Directionless Prophet,” “Gazelle in a Ghazal,”
and “Ghazal Game #3 (Matching: Find the Found Poetry).” The Other
Voices International Project. Vol. 41, Spring, 2009.
“Stone.” The Ghazal Page. Spring, April, 2009: 7.
“Inverted Ghazal” and “Sonnet Ghazal,” The Drunken Boat, Issue 10, Summer 2009.
“Eating Chelo at Aunt Bejhat’s.” Voices de la Luna: A Quarterly Poetry and Arts Magazine. Spring, 2009: 5.
“Cold Feet” The Ghazal Page. Spring, March, 2009: 1. “Persian Hamburgers.” Hanging Loose, Spring, 2009: 66-67.
“Haji as Prophet.” Two Review. Spring, 2009: 21.
“Last of the Avant Gardes.” Paradoxism (Forthcoming)
“Speed” and “Persian Carpet.” The Ledge. Spring 2009: 54, 56.
“Agha D.” Poet Lore. Fall/Winter 2007: 66.
“Ghost Story.” Atlanta Review. Winter 2006: 55.
“Time Warner Building, New York City.” Poet Lore. Winter 2006: 53.
“La Vache Qui Rit.” St. Botolph Society Bulletin. Winter 2005: 33.
“Deer Mittens.” Oberon. Winter 2005: 20.
“My Mother’s Gold Bracelets.” Oberon. Winter 2005: 24.
“Advertisement Proposal.” Hanging Loose Spring 2006: 51.
“Permissible Grapes, Forbidden Wine.” Hanging Loose. Spring 2006: 52
“Crossword.” Forklift, Ohio. Summer 2005: 18.
“Morning Wings.” Forklift, Ohio. Summer 2005: 62.
"Essential Journey." The New England Review. Summer 2005: 117.
"Hajji Interview." The Hat Spring 2005: 150-151.
"Picnic." The Hat Spring 2005: 149.
"The Red Car." Barrow Street Winter 2003: 68.
"Anagnorisis. " St. Botolph Society Bulletin, Winter 2003: 4.
"Iranian Darwins. " The Iranian.com, Winter 2003: 5.
"Teeth." The Ledge, Winter 2003: 101.
"Coronation." Coe Review, Spring 2003: 84.
"Chest." The Ledge, Spring 2003: 100.
"Thigh." Atlanta Review, Winter 2001 (Contest Issue): 62.
"Khomeini's Beard." Hayden's Ferry Review, Winter 2001: 65.
"Bobback Duke." Hanging Loose, Fall 2001: 64.
"Outing Iranians." Hanging Loose, Fall 2001: 65.
"Iranians Never Die." The Iranian.com, Winter 2001: 7.
"Tarrofing." The Iranian.com, Summer 2002: 3.
"San Antonio, 1979." The Ledge, Winter 2001: 91.
"At Aunt Ezat's in Tehran." The Ledge, Winter 2001: 92.
"Nose." Parnassus Literary Journal, Spring 2001: 43
"Who's Watching Mr. Magoo?" Green Mountains Review, Spring 2000: 134.
"How an Iranian Learns to Make the Best Gormeigh Sabzi." Visions International, Spring 2000: 11-12.
"One Week after You're Gone." Plainsongs, Winter 2000: 7.
"My Father Returned from Iran with Everything but his Bones' [He
said Customs Claimed Them as Government Property]." Plainsongs, Fall,
1999 : 26.
"Cousin Farzad Decides to Have his Wedding in the Old Country." Hanging Loose, Fall 2000 : 68.
"Persian Haiku." Raw Nervz, Summer 2000 : 38.
"Some Reasons Why My Cousin Boback Lost His Job at McDonald's." Hanging Loose, Spring 2000 : 69.
"Moon-Skinned." Coe Review, 28 (1998): 120.
"Obstruction of Construction." Ancient Paths, Spring 1999: 6.
"As We Circle a Smoky Mountain." California Quarterly, 1999: 26.
"Prometheus Sticks to the East Coast." The Iconoclast, Spring 1999: 21.
"I Watched You Braiding Persian Violets." Atlanta Review, Spring/Summer 1999: 7.
"Seed of Faith." Ancient Paths, Spring 1999: 2.
"Late at Night When We Were Twelve." Poetry New York, Fall 1999.
"The Return of Rip Van Winkle." SPSM&H, 22/23 (1998): 31.
"When Snow Stic
ks to Your Persian Eyelashes." Troubadour, Fall/Winter 1998: 28.
"When Window Blinds Strike Your Sleeping Face." The Neovictorian Cochle
a, Fall/Winter (1998-1999): 12.
Haiku. Raw Nervz, Spring 1998: 21.
Haiku. Persimmon, Spring 1998: 38.
Haiku. Raw Nervz, Fall 1997: 16, 39.
Haiku. Raw Nervz, Winter 1997/1998: 23.
"Where Has the Light Gone?" Lilliput Review, Winter 1997: 12.
Haiku. Haiku Headlines, Winter 1996: 8.
Haiku. Haiku Headlines, Fall 1996: 5.
"Desert." South Ash Press, Spring 1995: 4.
"Sublimity of Azure." South Ash Press, March 1995: 9.
Crossing History: New England Landscape in the Poetry of Emily
Dickinson, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, and Robert Lowell. Amherst:
Frost in Translation: Robert Frost and the English Repression of
Persian Poetry (In process, a psychoanalytic study of the translation
process through the poetic theory of Robert Frost).
“Veiling the Hyphenated Identity: Iranian-American Poets’
Appropriation of Orientalism.” Orient and Orientalisms in American
Poetry and Poetics. Sabine Sielke and Christan Kloeckner, Eds.
Frankfurt: Lang, 2009. 311-328.
“On a Difference Note: Music in the Composition Classroom.” From Hip
Hop to Hyperlinks: Practical Approaches for Teaching Culture in the
Composition Classroom. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008.
“A Victorian Hafez?: (Re)reading the Divan in the 21st Century.” Metamorphoses: A Journal of Literary Translation (forthcoming).
“ ‘Across the lines of straighter darker trees’: Robert Frost’s Triangles.” Interdisciplinary Literary Studies (forthcoming).
"Farming New England: The Cultivation of Meaning in Robert Frost's Poetry." The
Robert Frost Review 12 (Fall 2002): 40-56.
“Hafizzz Cola: The Refreshment of Persian Poetry.” Persian Mirror 8 (Fall 2006): 8-10.