Poetry is a central component of the special exhibition Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons, and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts and has an important, rich history within Persian culture. To bring the objects and words within the exhibition to life, Walters curator Amy Landau will be joined by writer and educator Firouzeh Dianat, who will read poems from historic Persian poets—some of whom are featured in the galleries—as well as contemporary practitioners. Classic writings by Fayzi, Nizami, and Saadi will blend with more modern offerings from poets like Simin Behbahani, whom President Obama recently quoted in a speech to the Iranian public.
Firouzeh Dianat has a Ph.D. in English from Morgan State University. She has lectured, authored, and translated various topics including self, identity, diaspora, and gender in English and Persian. She is currently teaching English and Persian and working on her writing projects. Her essay "Iranian Female Authors and ‘Anxiety of the Authorship’” was recently published in Persian Language, Literature and Culture: New Leaves, Fresh Look (2015).
This program was also made possible by a grant from the Maryland Humanities Council, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Maryland Humanities Council.