Tehran's notorious Evon Prison, where most political prisoners are jailed. Undated

Tehran's notorious Evon Prison, where most political prisoners are jailed

American Poets Demand Release Of Imprisoned Iranian Peers

Sunday, 11/20/2022

A group of American poets have published a letter demanding the release of writers, poets and intellectuals imprisoned by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Charles Bernstein, the founder of the language poetry movement in America and one of the most important figures of avant-garde poetry and the winner of the prestigious "Bollingen" award prepared the letter.

Over two dozen poets who signed the letter said, “as American poets who have committed our lives to free expression, we are devastated by the attacks on our fellow poets and writers in Iran.”

“While the horrific news of the attacks of women and girls, and indeed on men and boys, has been publicized, the attacks on these Iranian poets and writers have not been fully reported,” they added.

The letter mentions a long list of poets, writers and translators in Iran saying, “We call out to these poets and writers: we see you, we care, we stand with you, we want to read your future works.”

“Poetry matters — in the U.S. and in Iran. The imprisonment of these Iranian literary artists is an attack on all of us,” reads the letter.

They have also published the names of detained intellectuals in Iran, including Atfeh Chaharmahalian, Amirhossein Barimani, Nasibeh Nami’Far, Kaveh and Yashar Dar’al Shafa, Keyvan Mohtadi.

Anne Waldman, Pierre Joris, Jerome Rothenberg and Charles Bernstein are among the signatories.

During the recent protests in Iran, over 110 writers, journalists and artists have been reportedly arrested, threatened, or harmed by the security forces for political reasons.

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