About the Poet Publications Contacts Farsi Poems

No Particular Place to Go: Poetry Unbound
7 June 2017

Filzrovia Chapel

Hosted by Edin Suljic, Exiled Writers Ink Committee member and writer.

Readings by

Amir Darwish is a British/Syrian poet of Kurdish origin. He was born in Aleppo in 1979 and came to the UK as an asylum seeker during the Second Gulf War. 

Shirin Razavian is a Tehran-born British poet whose work has appeared in Poetry London, Index on Censorship, Exiled Ink Magazine, Agenda and Persian Book Review among others. 

Fiona Sze-Lorrain writes and translates in English, French, and Chinese. She is the author of three books of poetry, most recently The Ruined Elegance (Princeton, 2016), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. 


A Night With Sara Shahidi And Friends
29 April 2017

Refugee Projects

A night of music, dance, Capoeira, poetry and art to bring together Sara Shahidi's friends from different areas of the entertainment industry to help raise money for Amnesty International And Oxfam and to help raise awareness for their Refugee projects.

Singers/ Musicians 

Sara Shahidi - R’n’B and Soul singer, songwriting, artist of Persian origin.
Katy Hurt
Alice Pisano

Dance Performance:

Adio - Infinite Project - (Sabrina Gargano & Verena Schneider), Featuring special guest performer: Eleni Panousopoulou

Capoeira Performance:

Mojuba Capoeira Group (Catherine Francis, Sabrina Gargano, Giovanni Capuano, David Toon, Eleni Panousopoulou, Paturi, Eyram Baoba Adjogatse , Paula Slinger, Luiz Gustavo Martins and Nicola Picchi)

Poetry Reading:

Rishi Dastidar - London based poet published by the Financial Times, Tate Modern and the Southbank Centre amongst many others, and has featured in the anthologies Adventures in Form (Penned in the Margins) and Ten: The New Wave (Bloodaxe).

Miranda Peake - London based 2014 Mslexia Poetry Competition prize winning poet, with poems published in Magma, The Rialto, Bare Fiction, And Other Poems, Banshee and Poetry News.

Soul Patel - London based, published poet, third prize winner of the 2016 Magma Poetry Competition, long-listed in the National Poetry Competition 2016 and short-listed for The Complete Works 2016.

Shirin Razavian -Tehran-born British published poet who has appeared in Poetry London, Index on Censorship, Exiled Writers Magazine, Agenda and Persian Book Review among others and with 5 Persian and English poetry collections in the UK, the latest of which was “Which Shade of Blue”.



Fine Art and Photography
Catherine Lulu Francis


Border Crossings

Plays of Love & War
28 October

Acklam Theatre, Notting Hill Gate

 Zoila Forss Wafaa Abdulrazak Shirin Razavian

Exiled Writers Ink
Poetry readings from three exiled writers: Tehran-born poet Shirin Razavian, Iraqi poet Wafaa Abdulrazak and Zoila Forss, a visiting Peruvian-Finnish poet.

Followed by Plays of Love & War, When Nobody Returns in a stunning co-production with the compelling ASHTAR Theatre of Palestine. When Nobody Returns is the companion piece to This Flesh is Mine described in 2014 by the Guardian as a play that 'truly breaks down barriers’.


Freedom in Speech
14 October

Naomi Shihab-Nye Shirin Razavian

 An evening of poetry and spoken word performances held at The Society Club in Shoreditch as a part of the 4 day festival held by Let's All Be Free organisation.

Readings by Naomi Shihab-Nye an American-Palestinian award-winning poet, Shirin Razavian a Tehran-born British poet who has appeared in Poetry London, Index on Censorship, Exiled Writers Magazine, Agenda and Persian Book Review among others and Charlie Dupré, a spoken word and rap artist known for combining literary influences with a pulsing, characterised delivery.


Poetry Reading at South Bank Centre
5 August

Shirin Razavian Encampment

Exiled Writers Ink promotes cross-cultural dialogue through performance, publishing and education, and advocates human rights through literary expression and activism.

Poets included Nineb Lamassu, of Assyrian Iraqi roots, who writes his poetry in modern Assyrian; Shirin Razavian, a Tehran-born British poet who has published five Farsi and English poetry collections in the UK; and Suhrab Sirat, a poet, writer and journalist who was born in Afghanistan’s Balkh Province and moved to the UK in 2014; Shie Raouf, a Kurdish Iraqi poet who came to the UK at the age of nine and currently performs throughout London; Hussam Eddin Mohammad, a journalist who founded Al-Wa'I publishing in Damascus and co-founded the Syrian Writers Association.

Suhrab Sirat, Jennifer Langer, Shirin Razavian


Poetry Reading at Palm Beach, Florida
10 April

Shirin Razavian Peter Rogen

Introdution of  newly published book, Rumi's Holistic Humanism written by Mirza Iqbal Ashraf and edited by  Peter Rogen followed by poetry reading by Shirin Razavian.


Health Through Peace

Folk & Word

Health Through Peace is a a two-day event hosted by Medact, Saferworld, Oxford Research Group, Kings College London, Quakers in Britain, ICAN UK, Campaign Against Arms Trade and others, at which you can learn and take on action on issues related to war, armed conflict and militarisation.

This event was organised by Folk & Word in conjunction with Exiled Writers Ink!

Poets reading at the event were:
Suhrab Sirat, Shie Raouf, Handsen Chikowore & Shirin Razavian.

Moussa Dembele, Owen Shiers, Anna Cornish, Sahira Hussain & Timmon Wallis.

With artistic management of event organisers: Chris Venables & Ruth Renfrew

Shirin Razavian Medact


Happiness The Delight Tree

The United Nations SRC Society of Writers and The World Heart Beat Music Academy present the Anthology Happiness-The Delight Tree to honour the International Day of Happiness.
Featuring readings by Muhamad Tawfiq Ali, Gernot Blume, Shazea Quaraish, Shirin Razavian,Greta Stoddart and George Szirtes . With introductions from Bhikshuni Weisbrot the Vice President of UN SRC and co-editors of the anthology Darrel Alejandro Holnes and Elizabeth Lara.
Welcome from Sahana Gero - Artistic Director of World Heart Beat Music Academy in London.

Shirin Razavian United Nations SRC Society of Writers



 Robert Chandler

By Robert Chandler

When Nathalie Teitler from ‘Exiled Writers Inc.’ first asked me if I would translate some poems by an Iranian poet living in London, my first impulse was to say no. My knowledge of Farsi is elementary, and I had already taken on as much translating work as I felt I could manage. Fortunately, I decided to wait until I had seen a few poems; I asked Shirin to send me four poems, together with literal translations.
What I then received, to my delight and surprise, were three poems that Shirin had translated herself, and which needed only a very little editing – and one poem that she had originally written in English. I shall quote the beginning:

The Grey Morning

Runs its cold delicate hands
Over my shoulders
And playfully toys with my dress
The grey morning
Is full of the murmurs of life
The sounds of today
Voices of today
And the silent pains of yesterday
Which nobody speaks of

I was astonished by such clarity of voice even in a learned language, and I realized at once that a poet with this command of English would be able to explain her Farsi poems even to someone with my imperfect knowledge of the language.
More important still, Shirin writes with absolute directness and lack of pretension. I read Farsi slowly, letter by letter, like a child who has only recently learned to read. If it takes me ten minutes to puzzle out a few sentences, it is painful to discover that the writer has used twice as many words as he needed, and that the thought is in any case banal. But when I read a poem like ‘Water Song’, the images are so vivid that I almost forget that I am reading in a foreign language. Literally, two stanzas from this could be translated as:

Let me switch on
my loneliness meter:
how many degrees
below zero
is the temperature of loneliness?

The fish of my heart swims below the ice,
golden and hopeful,
and it sees the sun fogged
as if through frosted glass
and laughs shyly in itself.

This almost works as English poetry, but ‘itself’ is a weak word to end a stanza on, and ‘the temperature of loneliness’ somehow sounds less striking in English than it does in Farsi. Trying to make my English as direct and vivid as Shirin’s Farsi, wanting to remove anything that might obscure the clarity of her images, I made a few small changes:

Let me switch on
my loneliness meter:
how many degrees
below zero
will it say?

Below the ice swims the fish of my heart,
golden and hopeful,
and it looks at the sun
as if through frosted glass
and laughs shyly in its heart of hearts.

Shirin enters wholeheartedly both into the world outside her – as is clear from her political poems – and into the world within her – as is clear from these lines addressed to her son, Arvin, when he was still in her womb:

I enter, with you,
each moment’s smell
and touch, with you,
time’s smallest cells.

It has been a joy, and a privilege, to enter, even in a small way, into Shirin’s world.

Robert Chandler is a translator of the poetry of Sappho and Guillaume Apollinaire and a University lecturer in London.
He has translated poetry and prose by Pushkin and a considerable amount of other Russian prose, including Vasily Grossman’s Life & Fate.


5 August 2013- Exiled Lit Cafe


Shirin Razavian Exiled Lite Cafe

Music and Poetry
With Freedom from Torture’s 'Write to Life' group, Khayke Beruriah Wiegand will read from her collection of poetry and Shirin Razavian

22 November 2012- Amnesty International UK and Keats House

A glorious evening of poetry and music with John Hegley and friends

John Hegley  Shirin Razavian

Poet and comedian John Hegley, Iranian poet Shirin Razavian, Sean Mahoney and others combined at the house of Romantic poet Keats.
The evening held in support of Amnesty’s annual Write for Rights campaign.

8 March 2012- Amnesty London

Women hold up half the sky


6 October 2011- London


In partnership with Exiled Writers Ink.

A free evening of poetry celebrating National Poetry Day and Amnesty’s 50th anniversary year, hosted by our first poet in residence, Carlos Reyes-Manzo. The audience will be invited to enjoy an evening of poetry. The broad theme is Freedom of Expression but this can be taken either literally or metaphorically.

Amnesty International UK, Human Rights Action Centre
17-25 New Inn Yard
London EC2A 3EA
Nearest tubes: Old Street, Liverpool Street 

Carlos Reyes Manzo, Amnesty poet in residence
Luke Wright, fresh from a sold-out Edinburgh fringe run
Carole Satyamurti, award-winning British poet
Ben Okri, prize-winning Nigerian poet and novelist
Shirin Razavian, Iranian poet in exile
Felix Dennis, entrepreneur, poet and survivor of the OZ trials
Linton Kwesi Johnson, world renowned reggae poet .


June 29, 2011

The Nehru Centre of

presents a multilingual evening of poetry, art & music ARIA | ANIKA programme |flow of events | draft (auditorium) [MC: Anjali Guptara] I. Monika Mohta, Minister (Culture) & Director, The Nehru Centre: opening remarks Leona Medlin, Mulfran Press, Cardiff: publisher’s remarks + she hands over the presentation copy to William Radice & Jane Draycott who jointly launch Aria|Anika,.They say a few words, and hand the copy to SS. SS invites Jenny Lewis & Frances Kiernan II.1 Readings [Translations: World & South Asia] Jane Draycott reads Bengali poet Mandakranta Sen [39b] & Mithu Sen [46] in English Shirin Razavian reads her own poem in Farsi [100] / in English by SS Natasha Dabeski reads Macedonian poems by Petko Dabeski [110b] & Zoran Anchevski [108] / in English by SS William Radice reads Bangladeshi poet: Shamsur Rahman: ‘Love Poem’ [48b] in Bengali /in English by SS William Radice reads Rabindranath Tagore’s Khapcharra poems [36-37] in Bengali / in English by SS Mukulika Banerjee reads Gulzar [71] & Kunwar Narain [73] in Urdu/Hindi / in English by SS Sangeeta Datta reads Jibanananda Das: ‘Banalata Sen’ [35] in Bengali / in English by SS Sangeeta Datta sings “Sakhi Prem” by Rabindranath Tagore from her film, Life Goes On Jenny Lewis reads Amir Or (Hebrew) [98] Ewa Sonnenberg (Polish) [102] poems in English translation.


16th June 2010

Iranian Women: Heroines or Victims of transgression?
An event organised by:
Unite for Iran, Exiled Writer Ink!, International Coalition Against Violence in Iran (ICAVI) and One Million Signature Campaign.
Event was held at Free Word Centre at Farringdon, London.
Poets: Shirin Razavian, Mehrangiz Rassapour, Hila Sedigh
Chair: Jennifer Langer (EWI) , Rouhi Shafii (ICAVI)
Speakers: Ann Harrison (Amnesty International), Sara Pahizgar (One Million Signature Campaign)
Music: Mansour Parhizgar – Kurdish music to remember Shirin Alam Holi

8th July 2010

Reading at Lauderdale House, Highgate Hill, London
Poets: Robert Chandler, Shirin Razavian, Lakshmi Holstrom, Srilata. K
Chair: Shanta Acharya
Poetry in Translation: Celebrated poet, translator and editor Robert Chandler will read his own work plus translations of Alexander Pushkin and contemporary Iranian poet Shirin Razavian, who will read her own work in Persian. Sasha Dugdale's translations of Elena Shvart's Birdsong Seabed was a PBS recommended choice and shortlisted for the 2009 Rossica Prize. She has translated over thirty Russian plays, including Chekhov's Cherry Orchard for BBC Radio 3. Award winning Lakshmi Holmström translates poems, short stories and novels by major contemporary Tamil writers. Her 2009 publications were The Rapids of a Great River: the Penguin Book of Tamil Poetry, of which she is a co-editor, and a translation of Salma's The Hour Past Midnight.

2 June 2008


Mir Mahfuz Ali was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh and studied at Essex University. He dances, acts, has worked as a male model and a tandoori chef. He has given readings and performances at the Royal Opera House and other theatres in Britain and beyond. His poems have appeared in London Magazine, Poetry London, Ambit and Exiled Ink. He is currently preparing his first collection for publication. He has been working closely with his mentor, Moniza Alvi and was short-listed for the New Writing Ventures Awards 2007.

Shereen Pandit was a South African lawyer and political activist before coming into exile in the UK in 1987 where she completed a PhD in Law. Her short stories have appeared in many anthologies and magazines and have won several prizes including the Booktrust London Award. Her articles and reviews have appeared in several magazines.
Shirin Razavian was born in Tehran where she studied Persian and English Literature. Because of the censorship and lack of freedom of expression, she fled her country and started building a new life in London. She has published three Persian poetry books in London in 1995, 1999 and 2001. Her Farsi-English book Which Shade of Blue? is being published in the USA shortly. Shirin has had several radio and TV interviews with the BBC, Voice of America, Radio Azadi, Radio Israel and other Persian exiled media.

Their chap books, published 2008 by Exiled Writers Ink, will be available:

A Golden Bowl by Mir Mahfuz Ali, Flamingoes at Sunset by Shereen Pandit and Free Fall by Shirin Razavian.
Hosted by Nathalie Teitler



29 April 2008

12 exciting, emerging exiled writers and the launch of their chap books

Exiled Writers Ink Mentoring and Translation Scheme (Year 1) participants
Shereen Pandit ( South Africa), Abol Froushan ( Iran), Ali Abdolrezaei ( Iran),
Sofia Buchuck ( Peru),
Vesna Ruzicka-Sehovic ( Sarajevo), Hasan Bamyani ( Afghanistan), Hassan Bahri (Syria),
Samira Al Mana ( Iraq), Mir Mahfuz Ali ( Bangladesh), Shirin Razavian ( Iran),
Bashir Al Gamar ( Sudan), Mogib Hassan ( Yemen)
The evening will take place at:
Amnesty International Human Rights Action Centre


8 March 2008

Organisation: Association des Chercheurs Iraniens - ACI
Venue: Frontline Club – 13 Norfolk Place, London
Subject: International Women’s day
Shirin Razavian - exiled poet and campaigner for free press in Iran
Tahirih Danesh - Human Rights Researcher / Documenter bullet

Roya Kashefi - Human Rights Committee - ACI 

Elizabeth Sidney, OBE

National Alliance of Women’s Organisations – NAWO 

United Nations Development Fund for Women – UNIFEM UK

Women’s Federation for World Peace – WFWP (General Consultative Status of ECOSOC and DPI Associates with the United Nations)

CD Advert

13th May 2003:

Organisation: Exiled Writers Ink!
Venue: Poetry Café, Covent Garden, London
Subject: An exciting evening of Women Artists performing from a variety of cultures
Participants: Shirin Razavian (Iran), Choman Hardi (Kurdistan) and Shereen Pandit (South Africa)

18th May 2002:

Organisation: Index On Censorship
Venue: Soho Theatre
Subject: Just Peace UK
Participants: Abol Foroushan, Haifa Zangana, Mirza Fehimovioc, Aydin Mehmet Ali, Esmail Khoi, Richard McKane, Shirin Razavian, Jennifer Langer

Copyright © 2003-2018 Shirin Razavian. All rights reserved.