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Moniro Ravanipour and Fatemeh Shams

Friday - 6:00pm (ET)
March 8, 2024

Asian Arts Initiative
1219 Vine Street Philadelphia PA 19107
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$20 – $30

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Bowerbird and Philly Iranians, a volunteer-led, non-partisan, multi-faith coalition of Iranians and allies in the greater Philadelphia area advocating for a free Iran, are pleased to co-present an evening with Moniro Ravanipour and Fatemeh Shams in celebration of International Women’s Day. Join us for an event where Ravanipour and Shams, two esteemed Iranian authors, will share excerpts from their work and engage in discussions about the profound role of literature in offering unique perspectives on resilience and compassion through the lens of the Iranian identity, especially amidst today’s challenging social landscape. This event aims to create a space that fosters unity and empathy while reflecting on the uncertainties facing the Iranian people.

Please note the early start time. All proceeds from this event support Philly Iranians and their work.

This event is happening on the occasion of A UTOPIAN STAGE, an exhibition about the Shiraz Arts Festival on view at Asian Arts Initiative from February 9 to March 30, 2024.


Moniro Ravanipour is an Iranian American internationally acclaimed, innovative writer, activist, and poet currently living in Nevada. Ravanipour was among seventeen activists to face trial in Iran for their participation in the 2000 Berlin Conference, where she was accused of taking part in “anti-Iran propaganda”. Copies of her current work have in fact been stripped from bookstores in Iran. Ravanipour is the author of many novels, short stories and memoirs such as The Drowned, Heart of Steel, Gypsy by Fire, These Crazy Nights, and An Angel on Earth, to name a few. With much of her writing fueled by her Iranian identity and imaginative mind, her work ranges from children’s stories, short stories, novels, and screenplays. Her short stories have been published in various anthologies, including the PEN International Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature. With several of her works translated into multiple languages, Ravanipour’s bestselling short fiction collections include Kanizu and Satan’s Stones.

Fatemeh Shams is a poet, intersectional feminist activist, and associate professor of Persian literature at the University of Pennsylvania. An internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet, her work engages the fundamental struggles of her era: tyranny, sexual violence, bodily autonomy, alienation, forced displacement, and loss of the mother tongue. Writing in a wide range of forms from classic styles to prose poetry, Shams constantly moves beyond rigid boundaries of form and language to write about hunting memories of childhood and coming of age in her hometown and the experience of living in exile and her struggle for gender justice. Her literary honors and awards include Jaleh Esfahani Poetry Award in 2013, Latifeh Yarshater Prize in 2016, Poetry International Chapbook Prize in 2023 among others.

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