Sadek Mohammed (Iraq, IWP '14), poet, scholar and translator, is the author of the collection [Archeology of Scorched Cities] (2013) and the co-editor of Flowers of Flame: Unheard Voices of Iraq (2008, IPPY/Independent Publisher Book Award) and Ishtar's Songs: Iraqi Poetry since the 1970s (2011), of which he was the translator. Mohammed has translated writers including Maya Angelou, W. B. Yeats, Arthur Rimbaud, Sergey Yesenin, Osip Mandelstam, Elena Urlova and Mochamed Achmedov into Arabic, and many Iraqi poets into English.
Lava Omer DARWESH لاڤە عمر دەروێش (poet, translator; Iraq) graduated from the American University of Iraq with degrees in Business and English Literature. In her native city of Sulaimani she started a Freedom Writers Club and a Book Lovers Club; her poems have appeared in the anthology Lanterns of Hope, and she translates poetry and prose from English into Kurdish. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Mortada GZARمرتضى كزار (novelist, filmmaker, visual artist; Iraq) has an engineering degree from the University of Baghdad. The films he wrote, directed, and shot have been featured in international festivals; his animated “Language” won the Doha Film Award. He has three novels: [Broom of Paradise] (2008), [Sayyid Asghar Akbar] (2013), and [My Beautiful Cult] (2016), and is a regular contributor to the Lebanese newspaper al-Safir al-Arabiandis. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S.
Sadek MOHAMMED (poet, translator, scholar; Iraq) is the co-editor of Flowers of Flame: Unheard Voices of Iraq (2008), which received a 2009 IPPY/Independent Publisher Book Award. His literary work has appeared in Atlanta Review, Best American Nonrequired Reading and elsewhere; he also has a scholarly volume on translation practice and theory. He has translated Maya Angelou’s poetry into Arabic and the collection Ishtar's Songs: Iraqi Poetry since the 1970s into English.
Gulala NOURI (poet, fiction writer, translator; Iraq) has worked as a Kurdish-language teacher and in women’s issues and human rights. Currently, she works in Kurdistan for the High Commission of Erbil Citadel Revitalization (HCECR). Nouri has published four collections of poetry, [While the Dolphin is Sleeping] (1999), [This Crowd is Not Up To You] (2001), [Calendars of Loneliness] (2005), and [Firewood] (2009). Her translations of Vladimir Vysotsky’s poetry from the Russian into Kurdish and Arabic came out in 2011.
Naseer HASSAN(poet, translator; Iraq) is the manager of a cultural NGO poetry forum, a producer at Free Iraq Radio, and an award-winning journalist. He has published four poetry collections [The Circle of Sundial] (1998), [Suggested Signs] (2007), [Being Here] (2008), and [Dayplaces] (2010).
Soheil NAJM has published four books of poetry, [‘Breaking the Phrase’] (1994), [‘Your Carpenter O Light’] (2002), [‘No Paradise Outside the Window’] (2008), and the anthology Flowers in Flame (2008). In addition, he has translated selections of work by Nikos Kazantzakis, Alasdair Gray, Ted Hughes, and José Saramago. Najm is currently the editor of the Althaqafa Alajnabia ["Foreign Culture"] journal in Baghdad. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.
On 5/24/20, the US Embassy in Moscow celebrated Joseph Brodsky's 80th birthday with a collage of American poets reading his birthday poem "May 24, 1980" in the poet's self-translation. Chris Merrill, one of Brodsky's students, is among the readers.