Ali Alizadeh was born in 1976 in Tehran, the capital of the then Kingdom of Iran, two years before the Iranian Revolution transformed the country into an Islamic Republic. He attended primary and ‘guidance’ school in his birthplace during the Iran-Iraq War and its immediate aftermath; and, having taken an early interest in books and literature, produced his first public writing – a simplified prose version of an episode of the early medieval epic Shah-Nameh (Book of Kings) – at 13, winning a young adults’ literary award, and becoming the subject of a documentary film for Iran’s national television.
Only months after, Ali’s world capsized as his family immigrated from the oppressive, war-torn country; and his high school years in Queensland, Australia, marred by his classmates’ racism, difficulties of adapting to a mostly hostile environment, and the tribulations of learning English, concluded with his enrolling in the Creative Arts Program at Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, in 1995.
Ali’s experience as a Creative Writing student at Griffith was formative: influenced by new friends and popular grunge music, he began writing performance poems and reading them at pubs and student gatherings; then, after accepting an offer to do his Honours at the same university, he produced an experimental narrative poem titled eliXir: a story in poetry, his first book.
Ali then moved to Melbourne to study for his PhD at Deakin University, went on to complete his thesis, an ex..