Haft seen & Epitaph by Shakila Azizzada

Featuring: Shakila Azizzada, Zuzanna Olszewska, Mimi Khalvati

Shakila Azizzada was born in Kabul in Afghanistan in 1964. She now lives in the Netherlands and writes in both Dari and Dutch. Her poems are unusual in their frankness and delicacy, particularly in the way she approaches intimacy and female desire, subjects which are rarely addressed by women poets writing in Dari.

After working on the transitions with the cultural anthropologist Zuzanna Olszewska, the poet Mimi Khalvati said of Azizzada:

She is a very musical poet, tender and intimate, but also uncompromising in her political poems, and sometimes surreal – a poet of range and courage. Many of the poems, or parts of them, were relatively straightforward to translate and, perhaps because of the European influence, seemed to slip happily into English.

Shakila’s voice is not as adorned as some poetry in Farsi that I have read, and is idiomatic and sometimes humorous or satiric.

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