Persian Love Poetry
set to Ragas

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The love poems of Hafez are like the whispered advice from your best friend. They startle, confound, and resonate. In his poetry, Hafez is the master of magnanimity, tamer of tensions, initiator of intimacy, and mentor of the unconventional. Like an experienced guide, Hafez maps the emotional terrain each must travel with a distinctive voice that is typically exuberant, energetic, uplifting, and ecstatic. Poets Bill Wolak and Mahmood Karimi-Hakak and sitarist Srinivas Reddy will perform a unique combination of Persian love poetry and Hindustani ragas that will feature the ghazals of Hafez performed in both Persian and English.

More info:

Rhinebeck, NY Sunday, July 5, 2015 @ 8pm Omega Institute
Brooklyn, NY Wednesday, July 8, 2015 @ 8pm Brooklyn Raga Massive
Niskayuna, NY Thursday, July 9, 2015 @ 7:30 Karimi-Hakak Residence
Cambridge, MA Friday, July 10, 2015 @ 7pm Grolier Books
Salem, MA Saturday, July 11, 2015 @ 2pm Salem Athenaeum
Providence, RI Sunday, July 12, 2015 @ 6pm POSTPONED
Cambridge, MA Tuesday, July 14, 2015 @ 8pm The Lily Pad
Providence, RI Wednesday, July 15, 2015 @ 7pm Brown University

Bill Wolak is a poet who lives in the United States and teaches Creative Writing at William Paterson University. He has just published his tenth collection of poetry entitled The Lover's Body. With Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, he has translated Your Lover's Beloved: 51 Ghazals of Hafez and Love Me More Than The Others: The Selected Poems of Iraj Mirza; both of which were published by Cross-Cultural Communications. His translations have appeared in such magazines as The Sufi Journal, Basalt, Visions International, World Poetry Journal, and Atlanta Review. His critical work and interviews have appeared in Notre Dame Review, Persian Heritage Magazine, Gargoyle, Southern Humanities Review, The Paterson Literary Review, Ascent, Florida English, and Prime Numbers Magazine. He was selected to be a featured poet at festivals in India four times: at the 2011 Kritya International Poetry Festival in Nagpur, at the 2013 Hyderabad Literary Festival, at the Tarjuma 2013: Festival of Translators in Ahmedabad, and most recently at the 2014 Hyderabad Literary Festival.

Mahmood Karimi-Hakak President and Artistic Director of Festival Cinema Invisible (FCI) is a poet, author, translator, and theatre and film artist who has created over 60 stage and screen productions in the United States, Europe and his native Iran. His plays and films have received recognitions and awards at such festivals as Edinburgh, Montreal, New York, Los Angeles, Ft. Lauderdale and Tehran, including Best Director, 1979; Outstanding Foreign Film, 1995; CriticsChoice, 1999; and Critics Pick, 2007. A recipient of 2005 Raymond Kennedy and 2009 Fulbright awards, Mahmood has authored seven plays (The Little Black Fish, Me & My Mirror, Gilgamesh Con/Quest [with Ralph Blasting], The Survivals, Selection From Rum Mathnavi [with Joe Martin], Iphigenia: A Contemporary Event [with Michael Sham], and Seven Stages. His publications include two books of poetry (Pebbles of Solitude, 1991 and Rocks of Desire, 2000), two translations into Persian (shive-ye fani-ye namayeshnameh khani 1995 and roya-ye shabe nimeh-ye tabestan, 1999) and three translations [with Bill Wolak] into English (Your Lover's Beloved: 51 Ghazals by Hafez, 2009, Love Emergencies, 2011, and Love Me More Than the Others: Selected Poetry of Iraj Mirza, 2014), as well as numerous articles, essays and interviews in both English and Persian. Professor Karimi-Hakak has taught at Rutgers University, City University of New York, Southern Methodist University, and Towson University in the United States, as well as universities in Belgium, Holland and his native Iran. At present he serves as Professor of Creative Arts at Siena College. (www.MahmoodKarimiHakak.Org)

Srinivas Reddy began his musical training as a guitarist and composer. In 1998 he graduated from Brown University with a BA in South Asian Studies and completed his senior project entitled NaadaSat, a multi-instrumental ensemble piece that reflected his growing interest in South Asian philosophy and music. After moving to San Francisco in 1998, Srinivas met his guru and mentor Sri Partha Chatterjee, a direct disciple of the late sitar maestro Pandit Nikhil Banerjee. Since then Srinivas has dedicated himself to Indian classical music and rigorously trained with his teacher in the traditional guru-shishya style. Srinivas is a professional concert sitarist and has given numerous recitals in the US and India. He has three albums to his credit: GITA (1999), Sitar & Tabla (2001) and Hemant & Jog (2008). In 2011 Srinivas graduated from UC Berkeley with a PhD in South and Southeast Asian Studies. Under the guidance of Professor George Hart he studied Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu literary traditions and completed his thesis on the Vijayanagar emperor Krishnadevaraya and his grand Telugu epic Amuktamalyada. A translation of the work entitled Giver of the Worn Garland has recently been published by Penguin Books. Srinivas is currently Assistant Professor of South and Southeast Asian Studies at IIT Gandhinagar. He spends his time performing, teaching and conducting research in California, Rhode Island, and India. (