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Eagle Pond Authors’ Series: Farnaz Fatemi

October 24, 2023 @ 7:00 pm 8:00 pm

Iranian American poet Farnaz Fatemi will read from her award-winning 2022 collection, Sister Tongue, as well as from new work. The poems in Sister Tongue explore negative spaces—the distance between twin sisters, between lovers, between Farsi and English, between the poet’s upbringing in California and her family in Iran. In her foreword to the book, former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith writes that “Fatemi shines gorgeous light on the liminal space between languages, bearing witness to the joy and longing that accompany every act of translation.” Poet Brenda Shaughnessy calls Fatemi “the soulful Iranian American truth-teller and wonder-wanderer we’ve needed to hear.” And a starred Publisher’s Weekly Review praises how Fatemi “makes language think aloud and sing in these ruminative, beautiful poems.” Fatemi is Santa Cruz County Poet Laureate, as well as a member of the Hive Poetry Collective, whose work has been published widely.

This reading is free and open to the public. Books will be sold at the reading by the Plymouth State University Barnes & Noble Bookstore. The poet will be available to sign them after the reading.

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Farnaz Fatemi is an Iranian American writer and editor in Santa Cruz, CA. She is a founding member of The Hive Poetry Collective, which presents a weekly radio show and podcast in Santa Cruz County and hosts readings and poetry-related events, and was recently named Santa Cruz County Poet Laureate (2023 & 2024). She was formerly a writing instructor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Farnaz’s book of poems, Sister Tongue زبان خواهر, (Kent State University Press, 2022), selected by Tracy K. Smith, won the 2021 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, and received a Starred Review from Publisher’s Weekly. Her poems and lyric essays have recently appeared in Poem-a-Day (Poets.org), Tab Journal, Nowruz Journal, Pedestal Magazine, Jung Journal, Grist Journal and Catamaran Literary Reader, and several anthologies, including Essential Voices: Poetry of Iran and its Diaspora and Halal If You Hear Me.

Farnaz has been an artist in residence at Djerassi Resident Artists Program, PLAYA, Willapa Bay AiR, Jentel, I-Park, and Marble House Project. She is a recipient of an Arts Council Santa Cruz County Develop Grant and a Nion McEvoy and Leslie Berriman Fellowship (via Djerassi) and has been honored by the International Literary Awards (Center for Women Writers), Poets on the Verge (Litquake SF), Best of the Net Nonfiction, and Pushcart.


Sister Tongue (2022, Kent State University Press)

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