The New Social Environment#511

Ecstatic Embodiment: Rumi and Radical American Poetics

Featuring Haleh Liza Gafori, Holly Melgard, and Leonard Schwartz


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Poets Haleh Liza Gafori and Holly Melgard join Leonard Schwartz for a reading and discussion on Rumi and radical american poetics.

In this talk

More details on Gold by Rumi, edited and translated from the Farsi by Haleh Liza Gafori, and available from New York Review Books this March →

Haleh Liza Gafori

An image of Haleh Liza Gafori.
Translator, vocalist, poet, and educator Haleh Liza Gafori was born in New York City of Persian descent. She grew up hearing recitations of Persian poetry and has maintained and deepened her connection through singing and translating the poetry of various Persian poets for well over a decade. Her book GOLD features her translations of poems by Rumi, the 13th century sage and mystic and was released in March, 2022 by New York Review Books/NYRB Classics, distributed by Penguin Random House. A graduate of Stanford University, her own work has been published by Columbia University Press and Literary Hub among others. As a vocalist, she has performed at David Byrne’s One Note series at Carnegie Hall and Bonnaroo. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Holly Melgard

An image of Holly Melgard.
After a decade of self-publishing on the experimental publishing platform Troll Thread, which she co-founded and co-edits, Holly Melgard has just released Fetal Position (Roof 2021), her first book with an outside publisher that was recently named by Jackie Ess as one of Artforum’s “Best Books of 2021.” She is also the author of the Poems for Baby trilogy, The Making of The Americans, Black Friday, among other works. Selected Poems (Ugly Duckling Presse) and Inner Critic (Kenning Editions) are forthcoming. With a PhD in Poetics from SUNY Buffalo, she currently lives in Brooklyn, designing books and teaching writing at NYU and CUNY.

Leonard Schwartz

A painting of Leonard Schwartz.
Portrait by Simon Carr
Leonard Schwartz is the author of numerous books of poetry, including, most recently, Actualities I: Transparent, to the Stone, Actualities II: Two Burned Hotels, and Actualities III: Comic Earth (2021, 2022, 2023 Goats & Compasses), Heavy Sublimation (Talisman House) and Salamander: A Bestiary (Chax Press), with painter Simon Carr. His work in poetics The New Babel: Toward a Poetics of the Mid-East Crises (University of Arkansas Press), is inclusive of poetry, essays, and interviews. Other titles include If (Talisman House), At Element, A Message Back and Other Furors (Chax Press), and The Library of Seven Readings (Ugly Duckling Presse). He also edited and co-translated Benjamin Fondane’s Cine-Poems and Other, with New York Review Books.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.