The Book of Absence

For 5 years now, Erfan Mojib and I dwelled inside The Book of Absence. Throughout this amazing time together, we vowed not to write about the book, so as not to distract readers from their own experience. The poems speak for themselves. Actually, the book makes its own case for being considered a single, coherent, long poem, which can be experienced direct. Having put the final period on the final sentence and looking at it from the outside now, a few words do seem in order.

Thus opens the Afterwords of May 15, 2022. The book itself unfolds through 3 books within the book … { ¿ booklets ? } … … … 

  • The Book of Me [ me, without you ]
  • The Book of You [ you, for whom I long ]
  • The Book of Nothing [ in the absence of labels ]

Sprouts are becoming visible … in Asymptote … Essential Voices: Poetry of Iran & Its Diaspora (Green Linden Press) Evergreen ReviewJacket 2 Konch MagazinePoem-a-Day ( Literature Today ( the latter two w/ audio of the poet reading ) … & Y’ALLA A Texan Journal of Middle Eastern Literature.

Alireza Roshan ( born 1977, Teheran ) headed the Books desk at Iran’s reformist daily newspaper, Shargh. He initially gained fame as “a poet without a book,” publishing his brief poems daily on the Internet, for three years – attracting a following of thousands of readers. [Did they influence any of the now-famous Instapoets ? We don’t know. But they seem a precursor.] In Teheran, a selection was published as The Book of Absence. In 2011, a selection was published in France as Jusqu’à toi combien de poèmes.

Besides The Book of Absence, he’s author of Busy, Cage Poetry, Fade, Leyli’s Shadow, A Little Book of Love Poetry, Moonstone, The Point & Other Stories, Suwayda, and We. Reza Aslan has called his poetry “remarkable.” In European Journal (Brussels), Michel Manasse noted his poetry reminds him of Omar Khayyam and Sa’adi. In personal correspondence, Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr., poet and translator of Hafez and Forugh Farrokhzad, writes of his poems : “ …  both modern and koan-like while remaining so distinctly Persian … absolutely stunning, and important ! “


-=> Proposal for Book Publishers


covers of books by Alireza Roshan

calligraphy by Alireza Roshan







GG first read 20 work-in-progress translations in 2017, at a memorial for the bombing of Al-Mutanabbi Street — Baghdad’s cultural and intellectual center, named for a 10th century poet – one of multiple (annual) readings in the US & UK, and in Baghdad, Berlin, Dubai, Paris, Quebec, Venice, Sydney, and Vancouver. [ Video: Persis Karim | 5:22 ]

Introduced by SF Poet Emeritus, Jack Hirschman, GG reads translations of Alireza Roshan, plus Bijan Jalali, Edmond Jabès, ancient Chinese Zen poems, Ko Un, & a couple of his own poems,  [32:33]

Celebrating the launch of the voluminous, luminous anthology Essential Voices – Poetry from Iran & Its Diaspora, GG joined in on Night Two of readings, (Oct. 20, 2021) featuring Roja Chamankar, Armen Davoudian, Tyler Fisher, Persis Karim, Haidar Khezri, Leyla Momeny, George Reiner, Siavash Saadlou, and Niloufar Talebi. Night One (Oct. 19, 2021) featured Mansour Alimoradi, Kaveh Bassiri, Mandana Chaffa, Amin Fatemi, Mahdi Ganjavi, Fayre Makeig, Daniel Rafinejad, Parisa Saranj, and Ali Zarrin.



You are always the next poem

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