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Sholeh Wolpé is an Iranian-American poet, playwright, and librettist. Her publications number over twelve collections of poetry, translations, and anthologies, as well as several plays. Her most recent book, Abacus of Loss: A Memoir in Verse, was chosen by The Mary Sue magazine as one of “8+ Beautiful, Contemporary Novels Written in Verse That Make Poetry Accessible,” and was hailed by Colorado Review as a book that “examines the masks of patriarchy in powerful metaphor and narrative.” Sholeh's publications number over twelve collections of poetry, translations, and anthologies, as well as several plays. She is the recipient of a PEN/Heim, Midwest Book Award, and the Lois Roth Prize and was a 2024 award judge for Neustadt International Prize.

Wolpé’s translations of the twelfth-century Sufi mystic poet, Attar, The Conference of the Birds (W.W. Norton & Company), and of the twentieth-century Iranian rebel poet Forugh Farrokhzad, Sin: Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad (University of Arkansas Press), have garnered awards and established Wolpé as a celebrated re-creator of Persian poetry in English.

Most recently, her play SHAME was featured in New Iranian Plays, published by Aurora Metro books (2022). Wolpé wrote the libretto for an oratorio, “The Conference of the Birds,” and a multi-genre performance, “The Seven Valleys”, which premiered respectively at the Broad Stage and the Getty Villa Museum in 2022. “Song of Exile,” commissioned by The Arlington Chorale premiered in Virginia in 2023. Her most recent commission as a librettist is a full-length opera for six award-winning female composers.

Sholeh has lived in Iran, Trinidad, and the United Kingdom and is currently a writer-in-residence at the University of California, Irvine, and the poetry editor at The Markaz. She performs her literary work solo and with musicians internationally. She divides her time between Southern California and Barcelona.

Like all other Writers' Festival events, this event is free and open to the public.

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