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Speaking in the voice of his time

On Ali Abdolrezaei and a new, multi-faceted generation in Iran


Ali Abdolrezaei’s poetry shows that the contemporary art of Iran has been hugely influenced by the traumatic historic events of the last three decades and that these events have affected millions of Iranians in one way or another. Abdolrezaei is young and represents the aesthetics and voice of a new, multi-faceted generation of Iranians and their cultural chasm with the past in the face of a repressive political regime. Abdolrezaei gained reputation as a poet, speaking in the voice of his time, in the early 1990s and received wide critical attention. His poetry tackles difficult themes with a mastery of craft.

Ali Abdolrezaei was born on 10 April 1969 in Northern Iran. He completed his primary and secondary education in his city of birth and after receiving his diploma in mathematics passed the nationwide university entrance exams. He graduated with a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tehran Technical and Engineering University.

He began his professional poetic career in 1986 and became one of the most serious and contentious poets of the new generation of Persian poetry. Abdolrezaei has had an undeniable effect on many poets of his generation through of his poetry as well as his speeches and interviews. He is also one of the few poets who succeeded in expressing his unique poetic individuality. His eight varied books of poetry – In riskdom where I live, Shinema, So sermon of society, Improvisation, This dear crying, Paris in Renault, You name this book and Only iron men live in the rain – endorse his poetic creativity and power. Publication is forthcoming for his poetry collection La Elaha Ella Love and the multi-textual Hermaphrodite. Both have received diverse critical reviews. Nearly all well-known poets and critics of Persian poetry have written about Abdolrezaei's work.
In September 2002 after his protest against heavy censorship of his latest books such as So sermon of society and Shinema, he was banned from teaching and public speaking. He left Iran and after staying a few months in Germany, followed by two years in France, he moved to London, where he has been living for the last three years.

© Mansor Pooyan & Sam Vaseghi  
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