Zand, Michael

Michael Zand - lion — the iran poems


Michael Zand - lion — the iran poems

Paperback, 98pp, 8.5x5.5ins

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I always seem to begin with the photographs". The photos in questions were taken in Iran and date from the 1930s to the 1960s. They chronicle the rise and fall of an Iranian patriarch, the lion of the title, and they haunt the imagination of his son, the narrator. We take a poetic and spiritual journey with the photographs, each of which yields a sequence of texts in poetry and prose. Lion is a narrative of sorts, but it is necessarily disruptive and disjunctive — ideas and literary structures are questioned, even the fixed boundaries of language itself are challenged. Lion is a meditation on the role of kinship in the development of cultural identity and the importance of rites of passage as cultural artifacts in the modern world. Ultimately, Lion is about the impact of the loss of identity amongst the Iranian diaspora, and the creation of myths of origin. The photographs create an imagined hinterland on the edge of reality, which is every bit as vivid as any material place. It is from this created world that narrator draws his energy, the Iran of disaporic memory, the Iran of the photographs, the Iran of the Mind.


"Michael Zand's 'little specs to keep' of ekphrastic lyric and?bilingual word play make visible the difficult conjunctions between memory and history, while further exploring how that conjunction might articulate the post-revolutionary Iranian 'turn . revolt . revoltion . return.'" —Peter Jaeger

"By way of explanation — Lion moves towards its non-conclusion via a series of central, but absent, photographs whose journey to language is constantly impeded. The result is a compellingly fragmented text which explores history and memory in all its complexities. Are you listening? I am." —Jeff Hilson


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