The New Social Environment#512

Ecstatic Embodiment: Rumi and the Politics of Delight

Featuring Sarah Eltantawi, Haleh Liza Gafori, Öykü Tekten, and Leonard Schwartz


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Scholar Sarah Eltantawi and poets Haleh Liza Gafori and Öykü Tekten join Leonard Schwartz for a discussion on Rumi and the Politics of Delight. We begin and end with a reading of Rumi’s poetry.

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 →

Sarah Eltantawi

A portrait of Sarah Eltantawi.
Scholar Sarah Eltantawi is a Professor of Theology at Fordham University. She is a specialist in contemporary Islam and Islamic law, with a focus in authoritarian and post-colonial contexts. She holds a PhD from Harvard University in the Study of Religion (Islamic studies). Professor Eltantawi’s books include Shari’ah on Trial: Northern Nigeria’s Islamic Revolution (University of California Press, 2017) and she is currently at work on two projects: one that examines the political theology of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and another, a book of essays that looks at several issues in Contemporary Islam, especially in the United States, most of which concentrate on problems attending the question of Islamic reform.

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.

Öykü Tekten

A portrait of Öykü Tekten.
Photo by Mario Pardo Segovia
Poet, translator, and editor Öykü Tekten is a founding member of Pinsapo, an art and publishing experience with a particular focus on work in and about translation, as well as a contributing editor and archivist with Lost & Found: The CUNY PoeticsDocument Initiative. Her work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets, Words Without Borders, Jadaliyya, the Markaz Review, Oversound Poetry, and Gazete Duvar, among other places. She lives with her two tabby cats in Granada.

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.