Haleh Liza Gafori with Kythe Heller: Gold by Rumi

Porter Square Books is delighted to welcome Haleh Liza Gafori for Gold, a new translation of Rumi that has been called "ecstatic and piercing." Gafori will be joined in conversation by writer, interdisciplinary artist, and doctoral candidate at Harvard University Kythe Heller. This event will take place in person at our Cambridge location on Thursday, April 7 at 7pm. It's free to attend, but space will be limited, so be sure to register for your free ticket below.

Register to attend here!

A vibrant selection of poems by the great Persian mystic with groundbreaking translations by an American poet of Persian descent.

Rumi’s poems were meant to induce a sense of ecstatic illumination and liberation in his audience, bringing its members to a condition of serenity, compassion, and oneness with the divine. They remain masterpieces of world literature to which readers in many languages continually return for inspiration and succor, as wellas aesthetic delight. This new translation by Haleh Liza Gafori preserves the intelligence and the drama of the poems, which are as full of individual character as they are of visionary wisdom.

Marilyn Hacker praises Gafori’s new translations of Rumi as “the work of someone who is at once an acute and enamored reader of the original Farsi text, a dedicated miner of context and backstory, and, best of all, a marvelous poet in English.”

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (1207–1273) was a thirteenth-century Sufi mystic born in the Balkh, in present-day Afghanistan. Considered the greatest poet of the Persian language, he also occasionally wrote in Turkish, Greek, and Arabic. His major works include the Masnavi, a six-volume collection of mystical teachings written in rhyming couplets, and the Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi, a collection of lyric poetry dedicated to his spiritual mentor.

Haleh Liza Gafori is a poet, translator, vocalist, and educator. Her poetry has been published by Columbia University Press, Rattapallax Press, Beyond Borders, and Howl. In addition to the poems of Rumi, Gafori has translated the work of Hafez and contemporary Iranian poets. She has also released music as Haale and as The Mast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Kythe Maryam Heller is a poet, interdisciplinary artist, scholar, and teaching fellow at Harvard University, where she is completing a dissertation in Comparative Religion with a second field in Literary Arts, Film and Visual Studies. She is the author of the Massachusetts Book Award-nominated poetry collection Firebird, two chapbooks, and critical studies on comparative mysticism and poetics, published by Cambridge University Press and Akron Series in Contemporary Poetics. Her work has appeared widely, in American Poetry Review, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, The Southern Review, and elsewhere, and she is the recipient of fellowships and grants from The MacDowell Colony, The Mellon Foundation, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and Harvard University. She is the founder and director of Vision Lab, an interdisciplinary art and research collective, the editor of Forecast Journal, and a poet on the faculty of Bard College’s Language and Thinking Program.

Event date: 

Thursday, April 7, 2022 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Porter Square Books
25 White St.
Cambridge, MA 02140

RSVP Form: 

RSVP to attend Haleh Liza Gafori! [Cambridge]

Interested in joining our in-person event on 4/7 with Haleh Liza Gafori? Please RSVP here to reserve your spot!

Attendees should note the following in-person event guidelines:

-Attendees must wear a mask at all times during the event.

-Proof of vaccination must be shown upon arrival at the event (a vaccination card, online vaccination record, or photo of your vaccine card are all fine - please have this handy, as well as a form of ID, as we check you in).

-Distanced seating will be provided. Porter Square Books will be open all day so feel free to come early to browse, but you’ll be able to take your seats starting at 6:45 pm. The talk will begin at 7pm, and conclude at 8pm. A signing line will follow the talk.

We thank you for respecting the safety of our community and staff by following these guidelines. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions at catherine@portersquarebooks.com

Thanks so much for your support  - we truly can’t wait to host you!

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Gold Cover Image
By Rumi, Haleh Liza Gafori (Translated by), Haleh Liza Gafori (Editor)
ISBN: 9781681375335
Availability: In Stock-Click Title to See Store Inventory
Published: NYRB Classics - March 8th, 2022