poet Rosa Jamali

Rosa Jamali

Biography of Rosa Jamali

Rosa Jamali poet

Rosa Jamali is a renowned poet in contemporary Iran; she is often considered as the most important female figure in Post-revolutionary Persian Poetry.

She studied BA Drama & Literature at the Art University of Tehran and later she receives her MA degree in English Literature from Tehran University.

Her debut collection of poems, THIS DEAD BODY IS NOT AN APPLE, IT'S EITHER A PEAR OR A CUCUMBER, is published in 1997 and announced a major new voice in Iranian poetry. The book opened Persian poetry to new creative possibilities. Her second collection of poems MAKING A FUNNY FACE was well received by critics and established her literary career. In this collection, with its stream-of-consciousness narrative poems; she merges different types of discourse and registers – archaic, colloquial and written, formal and informal, journalistic or scientific and so on... She adopts a kind of metric pattern from classical Persian poetry and imbues that with the natural cadence of speech, juxtaposing long and short sentences, infusing the whole with her bitter and distinctive sense of humour.
Her third collection MAKING COFFEE TO RUN A CRIME STORY is a re-reading of Sadegh Hedayat’s BLIND OWL in a post-modern narrative.
This lengthy dramatic poem at the beginning of the book retells the image of misogyny in Hedayat's literature; the chopped off woman in the Blind Owl. The poem has contains frequent references to old testament, myths & characters. DATING NOAH'S SON, a collection with so many biblical themes comes next as an addition to this book. The book THE HOURGLASS IS FAST ASLEEP has been mentioned for combining a present-day setting with the myths and themes of Persian mystics. Like Suhrawardi she takes the philosophy of illumination to talk about life from an Eastern Perspective; a kind of cosmology in which all creation has taken an existence from the light of lights; a kind of unification with the heaven above. In this book, she writes on death and love as Omar Khayyam did. The book has been widely discussed in its mythological references through birth and rebirth cycle, vegetation deity and archetypal patterns. And HIGHWAYS BLOCKED is much more in the political scene of present-day Iran.
HERE GRAVITY IS LESS 2019 explores some hidden psychological aspects of things in a creative mood.
THIS IS NOT A PERSIAN SCRIPT, which is her recent book and coming soon contains so many references to historical events and chronicles the life of a nation throughout the time.
Many of her poems have been translated into English by herself.

She has written a number of poetry reviews, critical articles, and scholarly essays... In an article on Ahmad Shamlu; Prominent Iranian Contemporary poet, she says:

' Shamlu is a part of our cultural heritage, but we are from a different generation so we have to criticise the past:

1- Shamlou's poetry is a political speech.
2-The music he creates in his poetry comes from fragmenting the phrases which cannot be real music where else he applies the classical kind of rhythm which is not used in modern literature.
3- The archaic style he applies can't utter today's life throughout the poetry.
4- In his love poems, he describes his lover as a nurse, mother or paragon of patience which cannot be practical in real life.
5-He applies the eloquence of the 11th-century prose which sounds obsolete and old-fashioned now.

Rosa Jamali's poems have been translated to various languages; English, French, German, Swedish, Turkish, Italian, Dutch & Esperanto... Among her translators are the distinguished Rumi Scholar, Franklin Lewis, and British acclaimed poet and prominent scholar of THE BOOK OF KINGS, Dick Davis.

She has translated a number of Anglophone poets into Persian among which are William Butler Yeats, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Sylvia Plath, Emma Lazarus, Ted Hughes, Adrienne Rich, Allen Ginsberg, Roger Mcgough, Louise Gluck, Hilda Dolittle, Edit Sitwell, T.S.Eliot, and William Shakespeare above all.

THE SHADOW is a play by Rosa Jamali. The police is looking for a murderer, a woman but he's found eleven women resembling the murderer. The setting is a room. There are two women in black, covered their hair in black headscarves confronting each other in a shelter. They were born on one day and they've got one name. They both married one man called Parviz.
A challenge of identity made them kill each other. In the end, a third woman exactly like them enters the same room, finding a piece of paper: 'The police have arrested 13 women who are quite alike but two have been found dead... the play is highly regarded as a feminist play exploring issues of women in Iran.
English Translation of Ghazaleh Alizadeh's novel THE HOUSE OF EDRISIS is among her other works.
Jamali has appeared in different literary festivals and events worldwide:

-In 2006 in Rotterdam The Netherlands, she was invited for a poetry recitation and talk.

-She had a poetry reading and delivered a talk on IRAN IN WRITING at the British Library in February 2015 following a Panel Discussion with Ahamad Karimi Hakkak; prominent Persian Literature Scholar and Daljit Nagra; British acclaimed Poet.

-In the Gutenburg poetry festival 2013, she delivered a lecture on the image of contemporary Iranian women in Literature.

-She has been a guest poet in different Persian study centers in the United States like Chicago University, Colombia University, Iranica Centre, UCLA, University of Arkansas, Maryland university, George Washington University, Library of Congress and...2013 She is recognised as an alumni of WORLD LEARNING by State Department

- Poetry reading and talk on Poetry and Ecology on Persian Poetry, invited by Green India Organization,2015

-Talk on Post-revolutionary Persian Poetry, St. Andrews University Scotland,2017

-India's Asian biennale of poetry 2019 is among her recent contributions.

-Kosovo International festival,2020

She is a poetry Judge in so many poetry awards inside the country.

Rosa Jamali's Works:


This Dead Body is not an Apple, it's either a Cucumber or a Pear,1997
Making a Face,1978
Making Coffee to Run a Crime story,2002
The Hourglass is Fast Asleep,2011
Highways Blocked,2015
Here Gravity is Less,2019
This is not a Persian Script, coming soon


The Shadow Primered 2014


EDGE, AN Anthology of Anglophone Poets translated into Persian
House of the Edrisis, Ghazaleh Alizadeh
Sailing to Byzantium, William Butler Yeats
Language Says, a collection of Amir Or's Poetry in Persian
Tulips, an anthology of women poets translated into Persian
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, Shakespeare in Persian

And Many Poetry reviews and scholarly articles in literary journals

PoemHunter.com Updates

My Roots

A Poem by Rosa Jamali
Translated from original Persian into English by Rosa Jamali

Did you see how the Milky Way drove on my nerves?
With my gill, I was furrowing the vague path of Being
To the juice of cloves and the root of chicory
I'm sticking firmly to the vague river;
From my roots through the circular centre of the Earth
Resting on its horizontal side, soft and light earth grows