During the 1979 revolution, Iranians from all walks of life--whether Muslim, Jewish, Christian, socialist, or atheist--fought side-by-side to end one tyrannical regime, only to find themselves in the clutches of another. When Khomeini came to power, freedom of the press was eliminated, religious tolerance disappeared, women's rights narrowed to fit within a conservative interpretation of the Quran, and non-Islamic music and literature were banned. Poets, writers, and artists were driven deep underground and, in many cases, out of the country altogether. The moving anthology, The Forbidden: Poems from Iran and Its Exiles, is a testament to both the centuries-old tradition of Persian poetry and the enduring will of the Iranian people to resist injustice.
Sholeh Wolpe is an award-winning poet, literary translator, and writer. Born in Iran, she has lived in England, Trinidad, and the United States. She is the author of Rooftops of Tehran, The Scar Saloon, and Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad for which she was awarded the Lois Roth Translation Prize in 2010.