Perhaps no one has been more responsible for introducing modern Persian prose to Americans than Mohammad Ghanoonparvar. Everyone who teaches modern Persian literature or reads Persian novels in English translation is indebted to his work as a translator, scholar, and teacher. Ghanoonparvar and his students have produced a significant portion of modern Persian literature in English. He recently retired from University of Texas at Austin and is now Professor Emeritus. In celebration of his long service to Iranian literature, I took this opportunity to ask him some questions.
How might the arts contribute to our perceptions of our evolving landscapes as we transition towards renewable energy sources? This is the question which Jessica Fogel, choreographer, Artistic Director, and Professor, has made central to Into The Wind, a dance and music performance that will be presented at the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC) in Muskegon, Michigan on August 22nd and 23rd.
Celia Rowlson-Hall is a New York based filmmaker, choreographer, and Bessie Award winning performer. I was first drawn to Rowlson-Hall because of her short film Three of a Feather, a piece she wrote and directed. Three of a Feather stars and features choreography from Monica Bill Barnes, a contemporary dance company to which Rowlson-Hall once belonged. Because I am interested in multidisciplinary arts as well as artists who push boundaries, I found Rowlson-Hall’s work immediately appealing. She was gracious enough to take time from her busy schedule to allow me to interview her for MQR.
“I mean the fantastical is as old as stories themselves, is perhaps where stories begin, but when a Latin American uses that trope we are immediately categorized. Boxes are safe. Safety doesn’t interest me, not in art. “
This is the first installment in what I hope will be a long and fruitful set of discussions with writers who are are engaged in the wonderful yet daunting process of writing their first books. My first interviewee is Gina Balibrera, a writer of fiction and nonfiction, who is at work on her first novel, The Volcano-Daughters.