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The Official Web Site of Esmail Khoi

سایت رسمی اسماعیل خویی شاعر ایرانی

 

 

 

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Biography

 

 

Esmail Khoi is a leading Iranian poet living in exile. Born in 1938, he was educated in Iran and England, and began his career in Iran as a lecturer in philosophy. In the 1960s and 70s, as a founding member of the Writers Association of Iran, he opposed the restrictions placed on intellectual freedoms in monarchial Iran, gradually advocating revolutionary change. In order to circumvent censorship, Khoi developed his own symbolism as a lyric poet, combining “thoughts, moods and images in a dense melodic language, pleasing both to the ears and to the soul” (Bozorg Alavi). He was dismissed from his post as University lecturer by the Shah’s regime because of his oppositional attitude and activism. After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, however, he found himself faced with an even more oppressive system of government. In the early 1980s, as a leading member of the intellectual opposition to clerical rule, he was forced to spend close to two years in hiding before fleeing his homeland in 1983. Since then, Khoi has emerged as a most articulate poetic voice of the Iranian Diaspora. Courageously, even fearlessly, he has gone beyond chronicling his own life in exile to defend human rights and political freedom the world over. He has continued to speak out for the rights of Salman Rushdi, Taslima Nassrin and others. Khoi’s poetry bears eloquent testimony to his experience and thought, and to his life long quest for a more humane world. Selections of his poems have been translated into several languages. English translations of his selected poems by Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak and Michael C. Beard have appeared in book form, in the US (Edges of Poetry) and Canada (Outlandia).