Fatemeh Shams, Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC) alumna, launched her first book of poetry under the title of '88', in London on Saturday 31st August. The collection, published by Gardoon, includes poems in both classical and modern forms.
Fatemeh was born in 1983 in the province of Khorasan in Iran. After finishing a degree in Sociology at Tehran University, Fatemeh pursued a master’s in Muslim Civilisations at AKU-ISMC. In 2009 post-election turmoil, Fatemeh and her family were targeted by the state for supporting the Green movement, since then Fatemeh has been forced in to exile.
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Fatemah said: “88 includes a selection of poems I have written in the past ten years. Most of them, however, were written in the past four years since I was exiled following the disputed presidential election in Iran. The poems reflect a collective experience which is filled with protest. I wrote most of these poems while in exile, so they reflect my personal longings and concerns for a lost country. The book is called 88 (1388 in the Iranian calendar) which is like 1984 by George Orwell, in an account of human loss, hopes and despairs during a troubled period under a fascist state.”
Fatemah won Jaleh Esfahani poetry award for the best young Persian poet in 2012. She is currently completing her doctoral work social history of Persian literature at University of Oxford, Wadham College.