“Sholeh Wolpé’s Rooftops of Tehran is that truly rare event: an important book of poetry. Brushing against the grain of Persian-Islamic culture, she sings a deep affection for what she ruffles. Her righteous aversion to male oppression is as broad as the span from Tehran to LA, as deep as a wise woman’s heart. This is a powerful, elegant book.” —Richard Katrovas, author of The Years of Smashing Bricks and Prague Winters
“In Sholeh Wolpé’s Rooftops of Tehran, an unforgettable cast of characters emerges, from the morality policeman with the poison razor blade to the crow-girls flapping their black garments, from the woman with the bee-swarm tattoo emerging from her crotch to the author as a young girl on a Tehran rooftop with a God’s eye view “hovering above a city / where beatings, cheating, prayers, songs, / and kindness are all one color’s shades.” Here is a delicious book of poems, redolent of saffron and stained with pomegranate in its vision of Iran and of the immigrant life in California. Wolpé’s poems are at once humorous, sad and sexy, which is to say that they are capriciously human, human even in that they dream of wings and are always threatening to take flight.” —Tony Barnstone, award winning poet and translator, author of The Golem of Los Angeles
“A stark and wondrous journey through and beyond the worlds looming on top of the aching roofs of Tehran, the poems in this collection are as vibrant as they are brave. Sholeh Wolpé poetry proves to be rumination, prayer, song. This book is an irresistible unrest.” —Nathalie Handal, author of The Lives of Rain and co-editor of Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond
Sholeh Wolpé is a poet, visual artist and playwright. She is the author of Sin—Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad (University of Arkansas Press), The Scar Saloon (Red Hen Press), Rooftops of Tehran (Red Hen Press, Jan. 2008), Shame (a play in three acts) and has a Poetry CD featuring poems read by the author to traditional Persian music (Refuge Studios). She is the associate editor of The Norton Anthology of Modern Literature from the Muslim World (Norton, 2010), the editor of The Atlanta Review—Iran Issue (2010), and her poems, translations, essays and reviews have appeared in scores of literary journals, periodicals and anthologies worldwide, and have been translated into several languages. Sholeh was born in Iran but spent most of her teen years in the Caribbean and Europe, ending up in the U.S. where she pursued Masters degrees in Radio-TV-Film (Northwestern University) and Public Health (Johns Hopkins University). She lives in Los Angeles.