Class of 2024

Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee

Majors: Global Cultural Studies in Literature; English
Minor: Creative Writing

Mellon Project: Modern Persian Poetry in translation: Nima Yushij

Nima Yushij's poetry is etched into the ancient halls of Persian literature. As the father of modern Persian poetry, his verses are immortalized in the chatter of taxi drivers and the moonlight cascades of his native Mazandaran. His revolution in poetry popularized a style referred to as 'she'r-e now '(شعر نو, "new poetry"), influencing every subsequent generation of Persian poetry. Despite his ubiquitous influence and cultural importance, Yushij's oeuvre remains largely untranslated and inaccessible to scholars and enthusiasts. This project aims to add to canon of translations of Yushij's poetry. I will begin with a biographical survey to familiarize myself with Yushij's life. Using available secondary literature and a collection of his untranslated letters, I will coalesce biographic information in order to trace Yushij’s influences and education. By positioning Yushij's poetry within the context of his Iranian and Western counterparts, I will ground the subsequent translations of twenty of his untranslated poems from the anthology, The Seven Books. This project is a step along a journey to bring a more informed and holistic understanding of the role of poetry in the formation of the Persian identity, opening the door to new approaches studying Persian poetry.