Sholeh Wolpé

I do not belong anywhere. I have an accent in every language I speak.

— Sholeh Wolpé (from poem, The Outsider)


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Sholeh Wolpe and Sahba Motallebi perform at The Broad museum in Los Angeles In conjunction with Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again. Tickets are free but must reserve.

Poem by Ahmad Shamlou

Essay about Walt Whitman and Attar on North American Review: Every Atom no. 81

New video of poem “Sexy on TV” in support of #MeToo movement:

New video of a parable from The Conference of the Birds by Attar.

essay by Darius Sepehri on Sholeh’s translations of Forugh Farrokhzad: Sydney Review of Books

Check out this new site dedicated to the rebel poet of Iran, Forugh Farrokhzad.

• Read a review of Sholeh’s new play. Theatrius

• Read interview on Guernica If I don't Translate, It’s a Sin

• Read interview on WWB. Women Translating the Classics.

• Read Sholeh’s work in Spanish Español , Persian فارسی , Arabic عربى , Hebrew עברי , Macedonian македонски , Galician Galego , Mandarin 普通话 , Japanese 日本人


Wolpé’s concise, unflinching, and often wry free verse
explores violence, culture, and gender.”
—Poetry Foundation

A gifted Iranian-American poet beautifully explores love and
the loss of love, beauty and war and the ghosts of the past.
—Shelf Awareness Magazine

Wolpé’s play is,“Moving, entertaining… breathtakingly magical”
—Carly Van Liere, Theatrius

”Through her translations of Iranian writers, and through four collections of her own poetry, Wolpé seeks to bridge the fierce political divide between her native Iran and her adopted Western homes—to pierce their mutual ignorance, and reveal one to the other. “
—Guernica, a magazine of global arts & politics

“Wolpé’s beautiful poems are at once sensual, meditative, raw in their honesty, and judicious in their fit use of language.”
—Kwame Dawes, poet and critic, University of Nebraska

“ Conference of the Birds: A Flutter of Wisdom & Fun at Ubuntu Theater. Sholeh Wolpé Transforms Church into Spiritual Nest.”

“Wolpé, who has translated twelfth-century Persian poet Attar’s The Conference of the Birds into English and Whitman’s Song of Myself into Persian, is an exacting and elegant translator. Her sensitivity to Persian-English differences and understanding of themes of exile, belonging and uprooting – all pertinent to translating and understanding Forugh – come from her own itinerant life. Born in Iran, she moved first to the Caribbean, then the UK, before settling in the US. Wolpé states that she thus ‘arrived at English language not once, but three times.’”
—Darius Sepehri, Sydney Review of Books


Sholeh Wolpé is an Iranian-born poet, writer and literary translator. Her performances, solo or in collaboration with musicians and artists, have been hailed by audiences as mesmerizing.   
The Inaugural Author in Residence at UCLA in 2018, she is the recipient of a 2014 PEN Heim, 2013 Midwest Book Award and 2010 Lois Roth Persian Translation prize as well as artist fellowship and residencies in the U.S., Mexico, Spain, Australia and Switzerland.
Sholeh ’s literary work includes five collections of poetry, several plays, three books of translations, and three anthologies. Her most recent publications include The Conference of the Birds (W.W. Norton & Co), Cómo escribir una canción de amor (Olifante Ediciones de Poesia, Spain), and Keeping Time with Blue Hyacinths (University of Arkansas Press.) Her new play, an adaptation of The Conference of the Birds, premiered at The Ubuntu Theater in Oakland California (Nov. 30- Dec 16.)
Sholeh has performed her literary work with world-renowned musicians at Quincy Jones Presents series on Broad Stage, Skirball Cultural Center Series, Los Angeles Aloud, LA County Museum of Art Ahmanson stage, Singapore Literature Festival, Brisbane Jazz Night with Ingrid James, UNSW School of Arts and Media theater, and other venues. She has taught poetry and literary translation at UCLA and University of Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program in the United States.
Sholeh travels internationally as a performing poet, writer and public speaker. She has lived in Iran, Trinidad and the UK, and presently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, sociologist Edward Telles.

Full bio and list of publications

Publicity Photos

About Sholeh's work in Spanish: Reinventar la infancia Sobre la poesía de Sholeh Wolpé

Read Sholeh’s work in: Spanish Español , Persian فارسی , Arabic عربى , Hebrew עברי , Macedonian македонски , Galician Galego , Mandarin 普通话 , Japanese 日本人