Roger Sedarat

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Roger Sedarat is an Iranian-American poet, scholar, and literary translator.

Creative Work/Publications[edit]

He is the author of four poetry collections: Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic, which won Ohio UP's 2007 Hollis Summers' Prize,[1] Ghazal Games (Ohio University Press, 2011),[2] Foot Faults: Tennis Poems (David Roberts Books, 2016), and Haji as Puppet: an Orientalist Burlesque, which won the Tenth Gate Prize for a Mid-Career Poet (Word Works, 2017). In his poetry, he frequently crosses the post-modern American tradition with the classical Persian tradition, reproducing his hybrid identity in his verse. A 2015 recipient of the Willis Barnstone Prize in Literary Translation, his poetry and literary translations have appeared in such journals as Poetry, New England Review, World Literature Today, and Atlanta Review. He has also published the chapbooks: Eco-Logic of the Word Lamb/Translations & Imitations (Ghost Bird Press, 2016) and From Tehran to Texas (Cervena Barva, 2007). Under the name of "Haji," he writes and performs political poetry that both challenges oppressive regimes, the construct of "Poetry," and the western gaze of the Middle East in the 21st century.

Academic Publications[edit]

Trained as an Americanist, his early study of American poetry, Pupils of the Gorgeous Wheel: A Lacanian View of Landscape in Modern New England Poetry (Cambria, 2011), relates the verse of Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, and Robert Lowell to the figuration of landscape history through psychoanalytic theory. Recent and forthcoming academic articles focus on translation pedagogy as well as the American origins of early Middle Eastern-American texts. A book chapter, “Middle Eastern-American Literature: A Contemporary Turn in Emerson Studies,” appearing in A Power to Translate the World: New Essays on Emerson and International Culture[3], examines Ralph Waldo Emerson's influence upon such writers as Ameen Rihani. Following his hybrid academic interests, his current book project, Emerson in Iran: the American Appropriation of Persian Poetry, more specifically interrogates the influence of Hafez and Sa'di upon Emerson's rhetoric.

Personal Background[edit]

He was born in Normal, Illinois to an Iranian father and American mother, and grew up in San Antonio, Texas. After attending the University of Texas at Austin, he completed an MA in English/Creative Writing at Queens College, City University of New York,[4] and a PhD in English at Tufts University [5] He currently teaches poetry and literary translation in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation as well as courses in literary theory, American and Middle-Eastern American literature, and poetics in the English Department at Queens College, City University of New York.[6]


  1. ^ Sedarat, Roger. Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic : Poems. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8214-1774-4 WoelsCat
  2. ^ "Ghazal Games: Poems". Retrieved 2016-10-17. 
  3. ^ LaRocca, David; Miguel-Alfonso, Ricardo (2016-01-05). A Power to Translate the World: New Essays on Emerson and International Culture. Dartmouth College Press. ISBN 9781611688306. 
  4. ^ WorldCat
  5. ^ WorldCat
  6. ^ NY DailyNews July 13th 2010