September is National Translation Month! Join us at the Williams Center to celebrate. Our feature this month is the Iranian-American poet and translator Roger Sedarat who will present a dramatic performance based on his recent poetry collection Haji as Puppet: an Orientalist Burlesque, which interrogates and challenges the western gaze toward the Middle East.
For over 15 years, Sedarat has been performing poetry and translation as Haji, a Persian punk persona based on the 19th century stereotypical picaresque British novel The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan by J.J. Morier. The translation backstory of this novel has real relevance to Sedarat’s Haji project. The first translator to bring this novel into Persian actually re-appropriated some of the Orientalist depictions. To this end, with Haji, Sedarat attempts to expose American assumptions of Iran and the Middle East. This promises to be a fun and memorable show not to be missed!
“Not since Ali Hakim, the Persian peddler in Oklahoma!has a minor Middle Eastern character lit up the grand stage.
—Roger Ailes, Former Fox News Chief
“Heh heh heh. Heck of a show!”—George W. Bush, Former American President
“O, O, O, that Rumi rag. It’s so erotic. So exotic!”—Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran
“With so much trouble in the region, it’s great to let go and laugh at it all.”—Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State
Join us on Wednesday, September 5, 2018, 7:00 PM at the William Carlos Williams Center, One Williams Plaza in Rutherford NJ.
Admission is free and there is an open mic with generous reading times.