A celebration of Persian voices and talent

Welcome to Nowruz Journal
Regardless of medium or generation, across these nearly two dozen pieces, a number of central themes emerge: around memory, home, relationships, identity and belonging. Despite the multiplicity of our Persianate lenses, we are all seeking the place where we can safely plant, and grow, and breathe, and love.
“She loved silence. It was the most beautiful sound in the whole world. After Rostam left it was the only thing that kept her sane: silence looking at the sky, silence in a dark room where she could pretend she didn’t exist at all, silence after her mother pestered her about finding a husband, about smiling more, about counting her blessings.”
“Show me one beast / that loves itself as relentlessly / as even the most miserable man. / I'll wait.”
“Even though my dad never conquered kubideh, he was our neighborhood’s certified master griller. Rain, shine, sleet or snow, he’d grill outside—bourbon in one hand, tongs in the other.”
“The impregnating wind had not found a mulberry tree and was now returning. It was blowing on the chador on Maliheh’s chest. 'I couldn’t find out how old the child was,' she said...Maliheh was thinking how she wished one of the trees was Taher’s son.”
“Spoken language has an immediacy and intimacy that is lacking from written language. The sound of your voice is unique to you. That’s a very human thing.”
“My work stands in the light of Iranian women, inspired by their fierce determination to stand for what they believe in, despite the consequences.”
“He did not understand that once you left your country, friendship was work. It was the work of remembering. After all that work, she deserved to be remembered how she wanted.”
“the kind of food we make / doesn’t come from recipe pages, / it comes from the hands of women / too busy to abide by directions”
“Yadollah couldn’t speak. In the five years all his pain had turned into caresses for his children; all his sorrow had melted into water for the tulips and the petunias.”
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