Sheema Kalbasi

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Sheema Kalbasi (born 20 November 1972, in Tehran, Iran; Persian: شیما کلباسی) is an Iranian-born American poet and writer on issues of feminism, war, refugees, human rights, a filmmaker on women’s issues, Sharia Law, freedom of expression and an activist for women's rights, minorities rights, children's rights, human rights and refugees' rights.[1][2] She grew up in Pakistan and Denmark, and now lives in the United States.


Sheema taught refugee children and [3] worked for the UNHCR and the Center for Refugees in Pakistan, and UNA Denmark.

In 2009 she signed an open letter of apology posted to along with 266 other Iranian academics, writers, artists, journalists about the persecution of Baháʼís.[4] Her poems have been anthologized and translated into more than 20 languages. In 2012, LGen the Hon. Roméo Dallaire, Senator from Quebec, Canada, closed his speech on the situation in Iran with sections from Kalbasi's poem Hezbollah. A winner of Harvest International, the poem has also been anthologized and published amongst others in The Forbidden: Poems from Iran and its Exiles, the Atlanta Review, and Iranian and Diasporic Literature in the 21st Century: A Critical Study by Dr. Daniel Grassian. In 2008 her poem The Passenger was selected and performed at Tribute World Trade Center, NY. Her poems Possession and Dancing Tango were set to music as an art song for mezzo-soprano and piano and performed at Old Dominion University, Virginia. in 2016.


  • The Poetry of Iranian Women[5] (Editor, Reelcontent Publishing, 2008)
  • Seven Valleys of Love,[5] a bilingual anthology of women poets from Middle Ages Persia to present-day Iran (Translator, Editor, PRA Publishing, 2008)
  • Echoes in Exile[5] (PRA Publishing, 2006)
  • Sangsar (The Stoning, Sinbad Publishing, 2005)


Film Date
Women on the Front Line 2013 Documentary
Simin Behbahani —For the Dream to Ride 2013 Poem film
Banafsheh Hejazi —Disappointment 2013 Poem film
Sholeh Wolpe — I Was Sung into This World 2013 Poem film
Farzaneh Ghavami —The Park 2013 Poem film


  • Human Rights Award and Recognition, Center for Refugees, UNHCR, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Hezbollah, from Echoes in Exile, Best Poem, Harvest International.
  • The Passenger, Third place, Jersey works.


  • Echoes in Exile, Collection, Annual Library of Virginia Literary Award, 2008.
  • Echoes in Exile, Pushcart Prize, 2008.
  • Seven Valleys of Love, The PEN Award for Poetry In Translation, 2008.
  • Seven Valleys of Love, Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, 2008.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Reelcontent". Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Women on the Front Line". YouTube. 24 June 2014. Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  3. ^ "TakePart - Stories That Matter, Actions That Count". Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  4. ^ "We are ashamed! -".
  5. ^ a b c "Reelcontent". Retrieved 10 October 2017.

External links[edit]