National Poetry Month Celebration 2014
A full time doctoral student at Columbia University, a part time English instructor in three colleges, I still find time to write. Or writing finds me, and I cannot escape from it. I have the opportunity of living in the magnificent metropolis of New York City, the city of light and shadow, the city I now call home, the city with such an enchanting architecture, such fast pace of life, existential loneliness, high living expenses, delicious food from all over the world, and wonderful people of many languages, cultures, colors, countries… all of which inspire me to write.
2013? It has been a busy year for me. As a poet, I have written many and many poems -- more in Persian recently. If not every day, then I have written every week. Some of the poems got published here and there, some went to my poetry weblog www.poetrydivan.blogspot.com, and some I read aloud in poetry readings. I polish my poems, my poems polish my mind. As a researcher, I researched on teaching poetry writing to science and engineering students, connecting two seemingly distant disciplines of engineering and poetry. As a writing instructor, I taught Technical Writing, Expository Writing, and Composition & Literature. I have discovered great interest in writing among students who used to think they were not good at writing or did not like it. As an educator, I have taught some pre-service and in-service teachers of New York City middle and high schools how to teach writing, and learned a lot from them, too.
Future? Well you wanted me to dream big! Here is a dream: poetry goes across the curriculum and nobody is surprised when I say the phrase “poetry for engineers.” My other dreams would be finishing my research on teaching of poetry, publishing my poetry chapbooks/books in English and Persian.
Favorite quote? I have many. I have collected quotes since high school. Recently a quote from the great Persian poet of the 13th century, Rumi (Mowlana Jalaledin Rumi) has been my torch through the dark: “Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do.” No more comment needed here, I believe.
I pass the NPM torch to Salima Varese. She is an avid poet and an exemplary engineering student who has written many great poems. Bringing her knowledge of science and technology into poetry, she has created fresh metaphors. Her poems are highly creative and adventurous in terms of producing metaphors.