Salar Abdoh lives in Tehran and New York City, where he teaches in the MFA program at the City University of New York, City College. He is the editor/translator of Tehran Noir and author of Tehran at Twilight, Opium, and The Poet Game.
Dena Afrasiabi was born in Shiraz, Iran, was raised in Northern California, and currently resides in Austin, Texas. She’s a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, and her stories have appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, JMWW, Fiction Southeast, and The Toast, among other publications, as well as in the anthology Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian American Writers (University of Arkansas Press, 2013). Her work has received support from the Millay Colony for the Arts and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico. She is currently at work on a novel about an Iranian theme park.
Maryam Atai has an MBA from Sharif University and is currently associate director of a nonprofit organization active in the education sector. Maryam was born in Iran and currently lives in San Francisco. Having spent her childhood and adulthood in both Iran and the States, she feels comfortable in both worlds. Iran is her mother- land, San Francisco her home. She loves to read, write, take hikes in the Marin Head- lands, and kayak on the San Francisco Bay.
Darius Atefat-Peckham is an Iranian-American poet and essayist. His work has appeared in the Texas Review, Nimrod, Brevity, Rattle, Crab Orchard Review, and elsewhere. Darius lives in Huntington, West Virginia, with his family and his golden retriever, Ivy. He currently attends Interlochen Arts Academy, where he serves as a lead editor of the Interlochen Review. In 2018, he was selected by the Library of Congress as the 2018–2019 National Student Poet representing the Midwest Region.
Nazanine Attaran was born and raised in Shiraz, Iran, the beautiful city of nightingales and poetry. She left Iran after high school to come to the United States to study dentistry, never realizing that a revolution, a war, and life would prevent her from returning for close to twenty years. She received both her BS in biology and her DDS from Indiana University. She is married to another Shirazi, has two lovely daughters, and lives in Northern California.
A graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Mandana Chaffa is a former strategist and corporate counselor to executives of privately held and publicly traded companies in diverse industries. Her work has appeared in Jacket2, Corium Magazine, and elsewhere, and she was once a finalist for the American Short Fiction Prize. Born in Tehran, Mandana lives and writes in New York City, where she conducts regular poetry discussion groups and occasionally serves as a dramaturge.
Cyrus M. Copeland is the author of Off the Radar: A Father’s Secret, a Mother’s Heroism, and a Son’s Quest (Penguin/Blue Rider), which won the Chautauqua Prize for literature. Prior books include Farewell, Godspeed: The Greatest Eulogies of Our Time (Random House), A Wonderful Life: 50 Eulogies to Lift the Spirit (Algonquin Books), and Passwords: 7 Steps to Writing a Memorable Eulogy. Cyrus is a resident of New York City and is currently at work on his next book.
Jasmin Darznik’s debut novel Song of a Captive Bird was selected as a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice book and was a Los Angeles Times best seller. Jas- min is also the author of the New York Times best seller The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother’s Hidden Life. Her books have been published or are forthcoming in seventeen countries, and her essays have appeared in numerous periodicals, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. Born in Tehran, Jasmin came to America when she was five years old. She holds an MFA in fiction from Bennington College and a PhD in English from Princeton University. She is a professor in the MFA program at California College of the Arts. Her next book, a historical novel set in 1920s San Francisco, is forthcoming from Ballantine.
Shireen Day is an Iranian-American who grew up in New Jersey, the US Virgin Islands, 1970s Iran, and Iowa. She earned a BA in sociology from Colorado College and an MS in social work from the University of Denver. Her essay “Unexpectedly White and Privileged” was published in the 2016 anthology What Does It Mean to Be White in America? Breaking the White Code of Silence. Her essay “Unexpected Strangers” was published in the 2017 anthology The Kindness of Strangers.
Babak Elahi holds a PhD in English from the University of Rochester. His work has appeared in Iranian Studies, symplokē, Iran Namag, MELUS, the International Journal of Fashion Studies, and Cultural Studies. His album of original music, Error and Trial, was released with his band, the Resonant Freqs, in 2018. He teaches at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Leila Emery’s work has appeared in the Michigan Quarterly Review, Parentheses Journal, Matter, and Lines + Stars. Originally from New England and currently residing in the South, Leila received a BA in comparative literature from Smith College and an MA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University.
Shideh Etaat is a writer and teacher. She received her MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. An excerpt from her novel appears in Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian American Writers, and she has published short stories in the Delmarva Review, Amazon’s online journal Day One, and Foglifter. She was a 2011 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Work-Study Scholar and a 2015 James D. Phelan Award recipient. Her first novel, in progress, is about grief, Tupac Shakur, and an Iranian-American teenager exploring her love for girls in the 1990s.
Omid Fallahazad is a bilingual fiction writer. His recent novel in Farsi, Gahvareye Div (NaaKojaa, 2016), centers on house-burning riots against Bahaءis in Shiraz on the eve of the 1979 revolution. His other works in Farsi include a collection of short stories, Se Tir-baran Dar Se Dastan (H&S Media, 2016), and a young-adult novella, Razi (Madreseh, 2001). Omid’s English-language stories have appeared in publications such as Glimmer Train, Paul Revere’s Horse, World Literature Today, and Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian American Writers. He and his wife, media artist Rashin Fahandej, live with their daughter near Boston.
Leyla Farzaneh was born in San Francisco to an Iranian father and an American mother. She recently graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she took classes in Farsi and wrote for FEM magazine. She is currently working in the tech industry in San Francisco and trying to learn not to burn tadig.
Farnaz Fatemi’s poetry and prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Grist, Catama- ran Literary Reader, Tahoma Literary Review, Crab Orchard Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Delaware Poetry Review, the anthologies Halal If You Hear Me and Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora and elsewhere. She has been awarded residencies from Djerassi, PLAYA, Marble House Project, I-Park Foundation, and Vermont Studio Center and has been honored by the Inter- national Literary Awards (Center for Women Writers), Poets on the Verge (Litquake SF), Best of the Net Nonfiction, and Pushcart. She taught writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz, from 1997 to 2018. www.farnazfatemi.com.
Roia Ferrazares is half Persian, half Italian and was born in the United States. The year she spent in Iran, 1970–1971, provided her first memories, and she writes about it in her blog persianchyld. A prose and short story writer, Roia has found that her connections through her Persian mother with Persian language, food, music, and poetry are the most profound and influential in her writing. Her writing grapples with Iranian-American identity formation in the diaspora.
Persis Karim is a poet, editor, and professor of comparative and world literature at San Francisco State University, where she also serves as the Neda Nobari Chair of the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies. Her poetry and essays have appeared in a variety of publications, including Callaloo, the New York Times, the Markaz, and Reed Magazine and at poetsanddreamers.com. She was the coeditor with Anita Amirrezvani of Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian American Writers, the editor of Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora, and the coeditor with M. M. Khorrami of A World Between: Poems, Short Stories, and Essays by Iranian-Americans. For more: www.persiskarim.com.
Renata Khoshroo Louwers is a writer and the editor/cofounder of Months To Years (www.monthstoyears.org), a journal of nonfiction and poetry that explores death and dying. Her writing has been published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, in STAT News, and on Stanford Medicine’s Scope blog. She holds a BS in journalism from Boston University.
Amy Malek is assistant professor of international studies at the College of Charles- ton. She holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles and an MA in Near Eastern studies from New York University. Her work has been published in Memory Studies, Anthropology of the Middle East, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Iranian Studies, and Iran Nameh. Her research examines the intersections of diaspora and transnationalism, citizenship, memory, and cultural production, with a focus on Iranian communities in North America and Europe.
Poupeh Missaghi is a writer, Persian<>English translator, and Asymptote’s editor- at-large for Iran. She holds a PhD in English–creative writing from the University of Denver, an MA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University, and another MA in translation studies. She currently teaches in the Writing Department of the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, as well as working as a writing consultant at Baruch College, City University of New York. Her nonfiction, fiction, and translations have been published in Diagram, Catapult, Entropy, the Brooklyn Rail, the Feminist Wire, World Literature Today, Guernica, Copper Nickel, the Denver Quarterly, and Asymptote, among others. Her first book, trans(re)lating house one, is forthcoming from Coffee House Press.
Raha Namy is a writer and translator. Her work has appeared in Guernica, World Literature Today, the Quarterly Conversation, the Barcelona Review, Short Fiction Magazine, the Baltimore Review, and elsewhere.
Mehdi Tavana Okasi’s work has appeared in Guernica, Glimmer Train, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Iowa Review, among others. He is the recipient of grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the National Society of Arts and Letters, and he was named a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow. He is currently completing a novel and teaches creative writing at the State University of New York at Purchase.
Daniel Rafinejad was born to Iranian parents in the San Francisco Bay Area. A graduate of Columbia University and the University of California, Los Angeles, he taught Persian language and literature at Harvard University before devoting himself to full-time writing and translating. He lives with his cat, Khāvar Khānom, in Man- hattan, where he is at work on a memoir.
Iraj Isaac Rahmim’s essays and fiction have appeared in the Antioch Review, Commentary, Commonweal, Fugue, Guernica, Gulf Coast, the Houston Chronicle, the Missouri Review, Reason, Rosebud, and Zócalo Public Square, and have been broadcast by Pacifica Radio. He was selected as a MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Vermont Studio Center, Herzliya Artists’ Residence, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Texas Commission of the Arts Fellow, was a Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Scholar, and was twice winner of First Prize in Prose from Fugue. His writing has been selected six times as a Notable Essay by the Best American series, was nominated twice for and received a Special Mention from the Pushcart Prize, and was nominated by the Sewanee Writers’ Conference for Best New American Voices. Winner of the San Miguel Writers’ Conference Fiction Contest, Isaac also holds a PhD in biochemical engineering from Columbia University.
Shokoofeh Rajabzadeh is a new mom and a writer, teacher, scholar, and activist. She is currently a PhD candidate in English language and literature at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research and academic publications focus on the racialization of Muslims and the history of Islamophobia in premodern England. As an activist, she is committed to antiracist pedagogy and increasing inclusivity in academic institutions. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry Northwest and Modern Poetry in Translation. She is currently working on a graphic memoir with her sister, Reyhaneh Rajabzadeh, titled Always Not Quite that tells the story of their experiences immigrating to the United States and growing up Muslim after 9/11. Small chapters appear in biweekly installments on their Medium website, @alwaysnotquite1.
Layla Razavi is policy director at the California Immigrant Policy Center. Her work focuses on expanding due process protections for immigrants and communities of color at the state and national levels, including the right to legal counsel for immigrants facing deportation proceedings. Layla holds a JD from the University of California, Davis School of Law. She lives in San Francisco and was born and raised in San Diego. Her parents immigrated to California from Iran before the revolution.
Dena Rod is currently the managing editor of Argot Magazine, a Webby-nominated queer nonprofit with a mission to highlight and sponsor LGBTQIAA+ perspectives and art across the globe. Dena works to illuminate their diasporic experiences of Iranian-American heritage and queer identity, combating negative stereotypes of their intersecting identities in the mainstream media. Their poetry and creative nonfiction essays have appeared in Endangered Species, Enduring Values: An Anthology of San Francisco Area Writers and Artists of Color, Forum Literary Magazine, Beyond Blood- lines (funded in part by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts), Argot Magazine, and Imagoes: A Queer Anthology. They were selected for RADAR Productions’ Show Us Your Spines Residency and for the Kearny Street Workshop Interdisciplinary Writers Lab. Dena received their MA in English literature from San Francisco State University and is currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area with their wife and cat.
Saïd Sayrafiezadeh is the author of the short story collection Brief Encounters with the Enemy and the memoir When Skateboards Will Be Free. His stories and personal essays have appeared in the New Yorker, the Paris Review, the New York Times, and Granta, among other publications. He teaches creative writing at Columbia University, New York University, and Hunter College. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction.
Roger Sedarat, an Iranian-American poet, is the author of Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic, which won the Ohio University Press’s 2007 Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, Ghazal Games (Ohio University Press, 2011), and Haji as Puppet: An Orientalist Burlesque, winner of Word Works’ 2016 Tenth Gate Prize for a Mid-Career Poet. He is also the author of Emerson in Iran: The American Appropriation of Persian Poetry (State University of New York Press, 2019), the first full-length study of the seminal American writer’s engagement with the verse of Iran. A recipient of the Willis Barnstone Prize in Literary Translation, he teaches in the MFA Program at Queens College, City University of New York.
Roxanne Varzi is a writer, artist, filmmaker, and anthropologist. She was the recipient of the first Fulbright fellowship to Iran after the revolution and the youngest Distinguished Senior Iranian Visiting Fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University. Her writing has been published in the London Review of Books, Le Monde Diplomatique, the Detroit Free Press, the Annals of Political and Social Science, the Feminist Review, Public Culture, American Anthropologist, and other venues. Her short stories have appeared in two anthologies of Iranian-American writing as well as in the New York Press and in Anthropology and Humanism Quarterly, for which she won a Short Story Award for Fiction. Her film, Plastic Flowers Never Die, distributed by DER, has been shown in festivals all around the world. She is the author of Warring Souls: Youth, Media, and Martyrdom in Post-Revolution Iran (Duke University Press, 2006) and the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal–winning novel Last Scene Underground: An Ethnographic Novel of Iran (Stanford University Press).
Siamak Vossoughi was born in Tehran and grew up in Seattle. His short stories have been published in Glimmer Train, the Missouri Review, the Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, and other journals. His collection Better than War received a 2014 Flannery O’Connor Award and was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. He was a 2018 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Fellow. He lives in San Francisco.
Katherine Whitney was drawn into the Iranian diaspora through marriage and first wrote about it in the anthology Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race and Themselves (HarperCollins 2005.) Katherine graduated from Duke University and received an MA is museum studies from John F. Kennedy University. She lives in Berkeley, CA.