Sholeh Wolpé

Sholeh Wolpé’s (’04) literary work includes six collections of poetry, several plays, three books of translations, and three anthologies. Wolpé’s most recent book is a memoir in verse, Abacus of Loss (2022) in which according to Prism International: “Desire and love exist in terrifying worlds” yet they are handled with “silken language.” The book is hailed by Ilya Kaminsky as a book “that created its own genre—a thrill of lyric combined with the narrative spell.” Her translations of 12th century Sufi mystic poet, Attar, The Conference of the Birds (W.W. Norton & Co), and 20th century Iranian rebel poet Forugh Farrokhzad,  Sin: Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad (Univ. of Arkansas Press) have garnered awards and established Wolpé a as a celebrated re-creator of Persian poetry into English. Wolpé wrote the libretto for The Conference of the Birds—A Movement-Driven a Cappello Oratorio, composed by Fahad Siadat, and Choreographed by André Megerdichian. It premiered at the Broad Stage in Los Angeles in June 2022 to sold out audiences. Wolpé is the recipient of a 2014 PEN Heim, 2013 Midwest Book Award and 2010 Lois Roth Persian Translation prize, as well as artist fellowship and residencies in the U.S., Mexico, Spain, Australia and Switzerland. In 2020, She was named a “Cultural Trailblazer” by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.