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Poet Profile: Bänoo Zan

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Poet Profile: Bänoo Zan

Bänoo Zan is a poet, translator, teacher, editor and poetry curator, with more than 120 published poems, etc., as well as two books. Song of Phoenix: Life and Works of Sylvia Plath, was reprinted in Iran in 2008.  Songs of Exile, a collection of her poems, was released in 2016 in Canada.  A second collection, Letters to My Father, is due to be released early 2017. She is the founder of Shab-e She’r (Poetry Night), the most diverse poetry reading and open mic series in Toronto. It bridges the gap between poetry communities, bringing together artists from different ethnicities, nationalities, religions (or lack thereof), ages, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities, poetic styles, voices and visions.

 

Bänoo has chosen to present her poem ‘The Hajj Pilgrim’ as it is a good representation of her as a person, as well as her work as a poet.


————-


The Hajj Pilgrim:

Khoda,

They say

you are a man—

in tavaaf—

on the day of ‘Arafah

stoning the Shaytan

They say

you are a woman—

covering your breasts

from the na-mahram—

your long hair in hijab

They say

you are angry


never drink or dance

never smile


But I’ve seen you

with Mohammad


in intimate embrace of

religion and justice


chaste and naked


You love like a man—

give up everything

for a kiss


You love like a woman—

want everything

in a kiss


I heard

you are converting

from you


to the lover

you are


Wash blood

off bombs and believers


Mourn the loss of innocence

in the ritual of need


Shave your head

Cut your nails

Wrap yourself in ihram


and join the humble crowd

that dies

for a visit


from you


————–


More of Bänoo Zan and her work can be found below:

Facebook & LinkedIn: Bänoo Zan

Twitter: @BanooZan


Here is the link to information about Bänoo’s poetry book, “Songs of Exile,” on the publisher Guernica Editions website


And here are some links to reviews and interviews:

Sumaiyya Reads


Quill & Quire


Verse Afire, the print publication of The Ontario Poetry Society in May 2016


Canadian Women in the Literary Arts


Canadian Immigrant


Draft Readings


Brockton Writers Series


Room: Literature, Art and Feminism since 1975, Issue 39.4: This Body’s Map


The Town Crier, Author Notes


The Town Crier, “To me, all poetry is political”:

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Bänoo Zan landed in Canada in 2010. She has published more than 120 poems, translations, biographies, and articles in print and online publications around the globe. Her book, The Song of Phoenix: Life and Works of Sylvia Plath, was reprinted in Iran in 2010. She is the founder, an organizer and host of Shab-e She?r (Poetry Night), the most diverse poetry reading series in Toronto.

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