Esther Kamkar, Palo Alto, California poet. Poems, poetry, writing, published works - news and events - 2009

Esther Kamkar published in London, UK Exiled Ink Magazine - Issue 12, Autumn/Winter 2009

Exiled Ink Magazine - Issue 12New innovative magazine reflects exciting, different voices in a new cultural environment. Content features literature, discussion and commentary. Exiled Ink is unique in providing an insight into dislocation and cultures of exile, both through the voices of exiled writers and through their literary work.

Conflict Zones - Sri Lanka

Poetry: R. Cheran, Thirumavalavan, Sivamohan Sumathy
Prose: Rohini Hensman
Articles: Sri Lankan Tamil Poetry - Rohini Hensman, Historical Background - Lakshmi Holmstrom

Poetry: Sholeh Wolpe, Esther Kamkar (Animals that We Are), Majid Naficy, Afshin Babzadeh, Reza Hiwa
Articles: Last Straw for Iranians - Fariba Marzban, Haleh Esfandiari - Claire Messud

Syria (Kurdish)
Poetry: Hussein Habash

Poetry: Mikhail Isin Eldin
Article: Apti Bisultanov - Sieglinde Geisel
Short Story: Tamara Islamova

Theatre Production and Script excerpts
Exiled Writers Ink National Mentoring and Translation Project
Poetry and Prose

Latin American Exile
Prose: Marta Raquel Zabelata Hinrichsen/ Alfredo Cordal
Poetry: Gisela Jachniuk

Exiled from Israel
Poetry: Haim Bresheeth

Writing Africa
Short Story: Fiston Mwanza
Poetry: Kiluanji Kush
Article: Caine Prize: Nisha Jones

Anthology of Somali Literature - review: Stephen Watts
Leaving Tangiers by Tahar Ben Jelloun - review: Albert Pellicer
Rooftops of Tehran by Sholeh Wolpe - review: Jeremy Edward Shiok
Like Myth and Mother by S. Sumathy - review: Lynette Craig

:: Contact Info and Website:

We Are All Iran: A Literary Reading to Mark the 6-month Anniversary of the Iranian Elections

      The June 12, 2009 Iranian presidential election put the international spotlight on Iran and the courageous acts of its citizens who filled the streets of Tehran to protest the election results. The days and weeks that followed June 12th--when ordinary citizens took to the streets to protest, to raise their voices-- inspired people around the globe..

       As the months have dragged on and media coverage has waned, the U.S. news headlines have refocused on Iran's nuclear ambitions--and by doing so have minimized the spirit and energy of the Iranian people in their efforts to challenge their government.

      To remember and bear witness to the extraordinary courage of the Iranian people, Bay Area writers from the Association of Iranian American Writers (AIAW) will share their literary work at the San Francisco Public Library.

     Bay Area poets and novelists will read from published and recent work and invite members of the community to share with us as we remember the courage and sacrifice of those in Iran struggling for democracy, human rights, and to have their voices heard.

Authors to read include:

  • Persis Karim (introduction)

  • Laleh Khadivi
  • Esther Kamkar
  • Elizabeth Eslami
  • Ari Siletz
  • Anahid Hojjati
  • Farnoosh Seifoddini
  • Tissa Hami
  • Katayoon Zandvakili
  • Angella Nazarian

Date: Saturday, December 12, 2009
Time: 2pm to 4pm
Where: San Francisco Public Library

Career Tip

From a 2009 Letter Addressed to Jamie Dimon , CEO of JP Morgan Chase

You tell your shareholders:
             This was perhaps our best year ever
And give them career tips:
             Keep a two-column to-do list
             and update it throughout the day —
                          things you owe people
                                        and things people owe you.

Consider these for your own list
in your pocket, Jamie Dimon —
things left behind, when people
are forced to leave their homes:
Empty prescription bottles
Hospital bed
Insulin needles
Tonka dump truck
Report card with As and Bs under a magnet
A pile of clothes hiding a small child’s artificial leg
Crayons scattered in the bedroom with the peeling princess mural
Wedding album discarded in the garage
Stack of unopened bills
Thomas the Train
“Get Rich in Real Estate” book

List after list
full of things and non-things.
Lists empty of things.

More new poems...

Reading by Authors from the Association of Iranian American Writers (AIAW) in conjunction with the Art Exhibit
One Day: A Collective Narrative of Tehran
at Intersection for the Arts, November 21, 2009

With a Musical Performance by Hossein Massoudi & Ramin Zoufonoun

Inspired by artwork from the One Day: A Collective Narrative of Tehran exhibit, Bay Area Iranian American writers will read recent and new works of poetry and prose....

Mojdeh Marashi
Esther Kamkar
Farnaz Fatemi
Parissa Ebrahimzadeh
Siamak Vossoughi
Nazy Kaviani
Zara Houshmand
Ari Siletz

....will read in the gallery at Intersection for the Arts.

The afternoon includes an added musical performance by Hossein Massoudi (singer and percussionist from the Persian-fusion band Aleph Null who will perform with Bay Area expert tar player Ramin Zoufonoun.

One Day: A Collective Narrative of Tehran features the work of eight artists living in Tehran, Iran Nima Alizadeh, Saba Alizadeh, Mohammad Ghazali, Ghazaleh Hedayat, Abbas Kowsari, Mehran Mohajer, Neda Razavipour, and Homayoun Sirizi alongside new work by San Francisco- based artist Taraneh Hemami -- this exhibition compiles a collective narrative of everyday Tehran, the largest city in the Middle East and the 16th most populated city in the world with close to 8 million residents.

Representing the current unpredictability of each day in Tehran and also the hope that comes from imagining a better future, the artists chronicle narratives of place and time, demystifying life in a country that has been misunderstood and maligned for decades.

Date: Saturday, November 21, 2009
Time: 2pm to 4:30 pm
Where: Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Tickets are available at the door. Sliding scale: $5-15
For more information: (415) 626-2787
The Intersection for the Arts -- Calendar

Esther Kamkar reading in concertEsther Kamkar reading at the 'Voice music from 10 composers' concert, San Francisco Community Music Center.

On October 3 San Francisco Community Music Center will perform Voice music from 10 composersthe San Francisco Community Music Center's Irregular Resolutions will perform the concert 'Voice music from 10 composers'.

Two of the featured performances will be by Ed Dierauf, composer of "Hummingbird Conditions" and "The Message" - a collaboration with Esther Kamkar who will read these poems, accompanied by Soprano Lisa Prosek and Pianist Patti Deuter.

Hummingbird Conditions for soprano & piano (Ed Dierauf)
The Message for soprano & piano (Ed Dierauf)

Saturday October 3, 2009
Time: 8pm
: San Francisco Community Music Center
544 Capp St, San Francisco, CA 94110-2586
(415) 647-6015 -- Directions
Admission: $5 for seniors and students, $10 for everyone else.

Esther Kamkar

Esther Kamkar
has been invited to read together with Charlotte Muse and Terry Adams of Waverley Writers, for the recording of the Live Poets Society TV show at the Palo Alto Media Center.

The recording date has been set for September 22 and the program is scheduled for broadcast sometime after this.

The regular host of the Live Poetsshow has also invited Esther to host her own one-time show and invite her own guests. This is scheduled for sometime in October. We'll keep you posted.

Mutanabbi Street - Baghdad, Iraq
Photo by Raya

Esther Kamkar and other contributors will read from the 'Mutanabbi Street Starts Here' Anthology (forthcoming 2009, Red Hen Press) to mark the 2nd anniversary of the Mutanabbi Street Bombing, Baghdad, Iraq.

Come and share an evening of poetry and prose written and read by poets and writers from Iraq and the USA.

Where: At the Great Overland Book Company
345 Judah St. San Francisco, CA (on the N Judah Line @ 9th)
When: 7.30pm, Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Contact: Phone (415) 664-0126 for further information.

Hosted by The Mutanabbi Street Coalition and Beau Beausoleil

Update from Esther:

"The reading was in a funky and lovely used-books bookstore in San Francisco, Borderline Books, the owner, Beau Beausoleil, is the originator of Mutanabbi Starts Here. About 30 people came up to the second floor, and ten people read what we were assigned to read...poets, writers and journalists' memories, or interpretation of the old booksellers street and the history of publishing, selling, underground publishing of banned books, the river that has witnessed destruction over and over...
It was a powerful reading night.  It was good to read another poet's work, it took me out of myself. I was glad I had listened to the poet reading 'my poem' in Arabic."


Esther Kamkar, Palo Alto, California artist and poet. Poems, poetry, writing, published works - footer logo

– Poetry on Love and Longing – Poetry on Healing
– Poems on Hope and Despair – Poems on Politics
– Poems on Motherhood
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