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Sheema Kalbasi


Sheema Kalbasi

Literary Champion of Human Rights

Sheema Kalbasi is an international human rights activist,  an award-winning poet, and literary translator. She is the director of Dialogue of Nations through Poetry in Translation, director of Poetry of Iranian Women Project, the poetry editor of Muse Apprentice Guild, and co-director of the Other Voices International Project.

Kalbasi has authored three collections of poems to date: Echoes in Exile in English, Sangsar (Stoning) in Persian, and Seven Valleys of Love, written in both English and Persian.

Kalbasi's work has appeared in numerous magazines, literary reviews, anthologies, and her work has been translated into several languages. Kalbasi is one of the few literary figures to promote poets of Iranian heritage, as well as international poets, to English speaking audiences. Her work, which is distinguished by her passionate defense of ethnic and religious rights, can be followed on facebook, and on twitter: @IranianWoman, and her production company The Reelcontent

She has worked for the United Nations and the Center for non-Afghan Refugees

in Pakistan and Denmark. She lives with her husband and two children in the United States.


Sheema Kalbasi's Debut Collection of Poetry


Winner of the Indie Excellence Award for Social Change in 2008

Nominated for Pushcart Prize 2007

Nominated for Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards 2008

Echoes in Exile

by Sheema Kalbasi

P.R.A. Publishing

ISBN: 0-9727703-7-2


To Buy:   Amazon

Praise for  Echoes in Exile


Sheema Kalbasi's poems attest to our tragic situation in which exile becomes a privileged position for pointing out the prevalent injustice of displacement. Her deeply engaging and reflective poems allow us to wrest away the very idea of homecoming in a world that denies it.

--Dr. Peyman Vahabzadeh, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Simon Fraser University, author of Articulated Experiences: Toward a Radical Phenomenology of Contemporary Social Movements


Sheema Kalbasi's poems speak of love, loss, and life in exile. They are the poems of a human rights activist passionate with the hope of peace. Kalbasi's poetry exposes the deep heart of a woman who is compassionate with suffering and full of the joy of life, of the innocence of a child, the knowledge of a woman, the aspirations of a peacemaker. These are stirring poems with a worldly view, both accessible and imaginative. They make an excellent cross-cultural exchange that demonstrates our universal humanity.




...and through this steady music and bright vision we enter the world of a fine poet, who, like her daughter, dances among, and slips the shadows and shelves of both her heritage and her new home to become something startlingly fresh and vibrant. A beautiful book.  An important new voice.   

--Dr. Joel B. Peckham, Jr., Author of Night Walking, and Asleep at the Wheel


Through compassion and wisdom she weaves the world together with her vivid words. World history is not national, it is international, and in her words, I found traces of my history, my life, my grief, and my desires. Sheema, a world citizen, shows in this powerful book, that just as the Earth is gold at its core, moving hot liquid, she does too.

--Birgitta Jonsdottir, poet and editor of the Book of Hope (including works by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Rita Dove and Ron Whitehead).


There are honest & hard won poems here. They speak of pain & cruelty & loss, the very elements that separate us from each other – to our mutual sorrow. There is also love & hope for redemption.  Heartfelt & true.   

--Roger Aplon, poet and writer


Sheema Kalbasi belongs to that world-wide community of the passionate and caring, who write of exile, injustice and desire.

--Wayne Amtzis, poet, photographer, and editor


Kalbasi's poetry is generous and abundantly human, passionate and compassionate.

--Jimmy Santiago Baca, award winning poet, and author of Immigrants in Our Own Land


In an age of extremes, be they from the right or the left, from any and all religions, it is rare to hear a voice of reason, mature and graceful. Sheema Kalbasi has that voice. Echoes in Exile is a cry in the wilderness, an oratorio Kalbasi says she needs to "write to keep nothing from overloading nothing." We learn more about the world in these poems, and thus, about ourselves.

--Daniel Y. Harris, M. Div. lecturer, essayist, poet, and translator-


Sheema Kalbasi's debut collection documents her struggle to confront the past and absorb a new culture.  Born in Iran and now living in the United States, she handles complex threads of the Middle Eastern tapestry (which she refers to in "Kaddish" as God's "bloody sore") and weaves her own vivid fabric within it.  Part chronicle of losses, self-doubt, and of what is retained (family), part polemic against an oppressive past and quest for her own identity, Kalbasi's concluding account of a passionate interlude reveals her evolving consciousness.

--D. H. Melhem, author of New York Poems and Rest in Love

Already, this new century seems as deafened by ideological clamor as the last, plagued by residues of cultural and literary separatism sometimes bordering on a kind of 'aesthetic apartheid'. For nations increasingly brought face-to-face across cultural divides - chasms that are now as much internal as external - the need for conversation, on its many levels, has never been more essential. Poetry, with its potential for radical openness and self-revelation, is an ideal prompt and vehicle for that conversation. Many kinds of voice continue to lie dormant in the English-speaking world; but we have at least begun to witness, in more recent times, some breakings of silence. In its quiet, intimate way, 'Echoes in Exile' reverberates with that desire to speak up. Of Iranian descent, Kalbasi is one of a swelling stream of poets now beginning to establish the conversation's many-sidedness.

--Dr. Mario Petrucci,award winning poet and writer

Seven Valleys of Love

A Bilingual Anthology of Women Poets from


Middle Ages Persia to Present Day Iran

Translated by Sheema Kalbasi

P.R.A. Publishing

ISBN: 978-09727703-8-5

Price: $14.95

To OrderAtlas Books



Seven Valleys of Love is an anthology of poems written by Persian women throughout history, compiled and translated by Sheema Kalbasi. The book is bilingual, written in English and Persian, and contains poems from the Middle Ages (Persia) to modern times (Iran). Each poem is an in-depth look at a society where women are persecuted on a daily basis. The compilation demonstrates Kalbasi's dexterity in the fields of language, editing, and translation. 

 Share the history and writings of one of the world's oldest civilizations.


 Praise for Seven Valleys of Love

 "A superb book that demands to be held or cupped gently in the hand so not to spill the sumptuous beauty, light wit, and sharp-eyed acuity it is teeming with."  

--Desi Di Nardo, Canadian poet


"A wonderful book to leaf around in...It invites us on a magical journey of reading and rereading these distant yet familiar women poets, of perceiving through their glass, whether darkly or brightly, the life of a society we yearn to know better."    

--Ute Margaret Saine

Review of Seven Valleys of Love: Pedestal Magazine

Review: Persian Mirror

 Additional Reviews:

Roger Humes-Reconciliation-January 30, 2007

Persian Mirror- Book Review-December 5, 2006

Payvand's Iran News-Book Review-December 6, 2006