Esther Kamkar Events Archive

2OO7 to 2O1O

Click poem headings below to open and again to close each poem

Expressions Gallery,
Friday Night, Nov 19

Literature, Poetry Readings & Open Mike
,  7-9pm

Featuring :   Muriel Karr and Esther Kamkar

2035 Ashby Ave. Berkeley, California, 94703 MAP 510.644.4930 - FREE

A Celebration of Persian Culture - Nov 7, 2010

persian musiciansMountain View Reads Together is an annual, city-wide celebration of one book that takes place in November. The Mountain View Reads Together 2010 book is the critically acclaimed Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, which is set in Iran.

You're invited to help us celebrate and enjoy the arts, music, dance, and culture of Iran.

Musicians performing Persian music
Literary readings by local authors
Performance by Shahrzad Dance Company
Works by Iranian-American artists
Traditional Persian foods

Date: Sunday, November 7
Time: 2:00-5:00pm
Place: Mountain View Public Library Community Room,
585 Franklin Street, Mountain View, CA 94041 MAP
650 903 6337

Reading: Al-Mutanabbi Street Opening
October 14, 5-7pm

With thanks to the Al-Mutanabbi Street Broadsides Project (Beau Beausoleil)

Al-Muttanabbi Street book stackReaders: Deema Shehabi, Bettina Pauly and Esther Kamkar

Where: The Tides Foundation in The Presidio, SF (MAP)
When: October 14th         Time: 5-7pm

Esther Kamkar (left) and Katayoon Zandvakili (right)

July 2010 Poets of the Month: Esther Kamkar and Katayoon Zandvakili, at the Levantine Cultural Center, Los Angeles

"The featured anthology for July 2010 is Let Me Tell You Where I've Been - New Writing By Women of the Iranian Diaspora, edited by Persis M. Karim with foreword by: Al Young (University of Arkansas Press).

This first anthology of writing by women of the Iranian diaspora features over one hundred selections of poetry, fiction and nonfiction from over fifty contributors. Through literature, the anthology explores the influences of history, revolution, war, exile, and immigration.

We present to you two poets from this wonderful collection, Esther Kamkar and Katayoon Zandvakili" -- Sholeh Wolpé

Read More

Encaustic Art by Esther Kamkar
A gallery of new encaustic paintings for your enjoyment. See them here

Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added. The liquid/paste is then applied to a surface. Read more about the Encaustic process on Wikipedia

Artwork: © 2009 hadiheidari2000@yahoo.comOn Saturday, June 19, 2pm to 4.30pm, Esther Kamkar will join a group of fellow Iranian American poets, writers and musicians, in honor of Iran's imprisoned Writers, Journalists and Bloggers

This literary reading and musical performance marks the 1-year anniversary of the disputed Iranian Elections - with a special report on the status of those writers, journalists and bloggers who have fled Iran in fear of torture and execution.

Readings by: Massud Alemi :: Farnaz Fatemi :: Tissa Hami :: Esther Kamkar :: Persis Karim :: Beatrice Motamedi :: Shirindokht Nourmanesh :: Ari Siletz

Musical Performances by: Hossein Massoudi and Ramin Zoufonoun

When: Saturday, June 19, 2010, 2pm to 4.30pm
Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Library, San Jose, Room 225-229,
150 East San Fernando Street, San Jose 95112 -- MAP
Donations: $10 ($5 Students). Proceeds to benefit Iranian Refugees Alliance, Inc
For more info contact: Persis Karim (408) 924-4476 and Shirindokht Nourmanesh      Press Release    Facebook

Co-sponsored by: Kavosh Women's Organization, Martin Luther King Jr. Library, United4Iran, and Veesta Arts & Lectures.
Artwork: © 2009   
"To stay alive you must slay silence" - Simin Behbehan

Link to AIAW Home page Link to Iranian Refugees Alliance Inc

A House

Grows on my head
its hallways lead

into the ear canals
and cochleae

words you

in my ear
find their own

place in the house
and fit together

like Majolica tiles
in the whispering

room in Alhambra
no words break

into shards
to wound

even fragments

to infinity.

Reading - March 5, 2010, 7.30pm
3rd Anniversary of the Muttanabi Street Bombing - at The Great Overland Book Company, SF

Muttanabi Street Booksellers

Esther Kamkar and others will be reading for this event to mark the 3rd anniversary of the Muttanabi street bombing.

March 5, 2010
Time: Starts 7.30pm
Where: The Great Overland Book Company, 345 Judah St (between 8th Ave & 9th Ave), San Francisco, CA 94122 - MAP
Contact Info: (415) 664-012

Esther Kamkar published in London, UK Exiled Ink Magazine - Issue 12, Autumn/Winter 2009

Exiled Ink Magazine - Issue 12New innovative magazine reflects exciting, different voices in a new cultural environment. Content features literature, discussion and commentary. Exiled Ink is unique in providing an insight into dislocation and cultures of exile, both through the voices of exiled writers and through their literary work.

Conflict Zones - Sri Lanka

Poetry: R. Cheran, Thirumavalavan, Sivamohan Sumathy
Prose: Rohini Hensman
Articles: Sri Lankan Tamil Poetry - Rohini Hensman, Historical Background - Lakshmi Holmstrom

Poetry: Sholeh Wolpe, Esther Kamkar (Animals that We Are), Majid Naficy, Afshin Babzadeh, Reza Hiwa
Articles: Last Straw for Iranians - Fariba Marzban, Haleh Esfandiari - Claire Messud

Syria (Kurdish)
Poetry: Hussein Habash

Poetry: Mikhail Isin Eldin
Article: Apti Bisultanov - Sieglinde Geisel
Short Story: Tamara Islamova

Theatre Production and Script excerpts
Exiled Writers Ink National Mentoring and Translation Project
Poetry and Prose

Latin American Exile
Prose: Marta Raquel Zabelata Hinrichsen/ Alfredo Cordal
Poetry: Gisela Jachniuk

Exiled from Israel
Poetry: Haim Bresheeth

Writing Africa
Short Story: Fiston Mwanza
Poetry: Kiluanji Kush
Article: Caine Prize: Nisha Jones

Anthology of Somali Literature - review: Stephen Watts
Leaving Tangiers by Tahar Ben Jelloun - review: Albert Pellicer
Rooftops of Tehran by Sholeh Wolpe - review: Jeremy Edward Shiok
Like Myth and Mother by S. Sumathy - review: Lynette Craig

:: Contact Info and Website:

We Are All Iran: A Literary Reading to Mark the 6-month Anniversary of the Iranian Elections

      The June 12, 2009 Iranian presidential election put the international spotlight on Iran and the courageous acts of its citizens who filled the streets of Tehran to protest the election results. The days and weeks that followed June 12th--when ordinary citizens took to the streets to protest, to raise their voices-- inspired people around the globe..

       As the months have dragged on and media coverage has waned, the U.S. news headlines have refocused on Iran's nuclear ambitions--and by doing so have minimized the spirit and energy of the Iranian people in their efforts to challenge their government.

      To remember and bear witness to the extraordinary courage of the Iranian people, Bay Area writers from the Association of Iranian American Writers (AIAW) will share their literary work at the San Francisco Public Library.

     Bay Area poets and novelists will read from published and recent work and invite members of the community to share with us as we remember the courage and sacrifice of those in Iran struggling for democracy, human rights, and to have their voices heard.

Authors to read include:

  • Persis Karim (introduction)

  • Laleh Khadivi
  • Esther Kamkar
  • Elizabeth Eslami
  • Ari Siletz
  • Anahid Hojjati
  • Farnoosh Seifoddini
  • Tissa Hami
  • Katayoon Zandvakili
  • Angella Nazarian

Date: Saturday, December 12, 2009
Time: 2pm to 4pm
Where: San Francisco Public Library

Career Tip

From a 2009 Letter Addressed to Jamie Dimon,
CEO of JP Morgan Chase

You tell your shareholders:
This was perhaps our best year ever
And give them career tips:
Keep a two-column to-do list
and update it throughout the day —
things you owe people
and things people owe you.

Consider these for your own list
in your pocket, Jamie Dimon —
things left behind, when people
are forced to leave their homes:
Empty prescription bottles
Hospital bed
Insulin needles
Tonka dump truck
Report card with As and Bs under a magnet
A pile of clothes hiding a small child’s artificial leg
Crayons scattered in the bedroom with the peeling princess mural
Wedding album discarded in the garage
Stack of unopened bills
Thomas the Train
“Get Rich in Real Estate” book

List after list
full of things and non-things.
Lists empty of things.

More new poems...

Reading by Authors from the Association of Iranian American Writers (AIAW) in conjunction with the Art Exhibit
One Day: A Collective Narrative of Tehran
at Intersection for the Arts, November 21, 2009

With a Musical Performance by Hossein Massoudi & Ramin Zoufonoun

Inspired by artwork from the One Day: A Collective Narrative of Tehran exhibit, Bay Area Iranian American writers will read recent and new works of poetry and prose....

Mojdeh Marashi
Esther Kamkar
Farnaz Fatemi
Parissa Ebrahimzadeh
Siamak Vossoughi
Nazy Kaviani
Zara Houshmand
Ari Siletz

....will read in the gallery at Intersection for the Arts.

The afternoon includes an added musical performance by Hossein Massoudi (singer and percussionist from the Persian-fusion band Aleph Null who will perform with Bay Area expert tar player Ramin Zoufonoun.

One Day: A Collective Narrative of Tehran features the work of eight artists living in Tehran, Iran – Nima Alizadeh, Saba Alizadeh, Mohammad Ghazali, Ghazaleh Hedayat, Abbas Kowsari, Mehran Mohajer, Neda Razavipour, and Homayoun Sirizi – alongside new work by San Francisco- based artist Taraneh Hemami -- this exhibition compiles a collective narrative of everyday Tehran, the largest city in the Middle East and the 16th most populated city in the world with close to 8 million residents.

Representing the current unpredictability of each day in Tehran and also the hope that comes from imagining a better future, the artists chronicle narratives of place and time, demystifying life in a country that has been misunderstood and maligned for decades.

Date: Saturday, November 21, 2009
Time: 2pm to 4:30 pm
Where: Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Tickets are available at the door. Sliding scale: $5-15
For more information: (415) 626-2787
The Intersection for the Arts -- Calendar

Esther Kamkar reading in concert
Esther Kamkar reading at the 'Voice music from 10 composers' concert, San Francisco Community Music Center.

On October 3 San Francisco Community Music Center will perform Voice music from 10 composersthe San Francisco Community Music Center's Irregular Resolutions will perform the concert 'Voice music from 10 composers'.

Two of the featured performances will be by Ed Dierauf, composer of "Hummingbird Conditions" and "The Message" - a collaboration with Esther Kamkar who will read these poems, accompanied by Soprano Lisa Prosek and Pianist Patti Deuter.

Hummingbird Conditions for soprano & piano (Ed Dierauf)
The Message for soprano & piano (Ed Dierauf)

Saturday October 3, 2009
Time: 8pm
: San Francisco Community Music Center
544 Capp St, San Francisco, CA 94110-2586
(415) 647-6015 -- Directions
Admission: $5 for seniors and students, $10 for everyone else.

Esther Kamkar

Esther Kamkar
has been invited to read together with Charlotte Muse and Terry Adams of Waverley Writers, for the recording of the Live Poets Society TV show at the Palo Alto Media Center.

The recording date has been set for September 22 and the program is scheduled for broadcast sometime after this.

The regular host of the Live Poetsshow has also invited Esther to host her own one-time show and invite her own guests. This is scheduled for sometime in October. We'll keep you posted.

Mutanabbi Street - Baghdad, Iraq

Photo by Raya

Esther Kamkar and other contributors will read from the 'Mutanabbi Street Starts Here' Anthology (forthcoming 2009, Red Hen Press) to mark the 2nd anniversary of the Mutanabbi Street Bombing, Baghdad, Iraq.

Come and share an evening of poetry and prose written and read by poets and writers from Iraq and the USA.

Where: At the Great Overland Book Company
345 Judah St. San Francisco, CA (on the N Judah Line @ 9th)
When: 7.30pm, Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Contact: Phone (415) 664-0126 for further information.

Hosted by The Mutanabbi Street Coalition and Beau Beausoleil

Update from Esther:

"The reading was in a funky and lovely used-books bookstore in San Francisco, Borderline Books, the owner, Beau Beausoleil, is the originator of Mutanabbi Starts Here. About 30 people came up to the second floor, and ten people read what we were assigned to read...poets, writers and journalists' memories, or interpretation of the old booksellers street and the history of publishing, selling, underground publishing of banned books, the river that has witnessed destruction over and over...
It was a powerful reading night.  It was good to read another poet's work, it took me out of myself. I was glad I had listened to the poet reading 'my poem' in Arabic."

esther Kamkar - Iranian American Poet - Palo Alto - California

Esther Kamkar co-wins Poetry Fellowship 2008

Esther Kamkar (above) of Palo Alto and Sarah Phoenix of Redwood City were this year’s co-winners for the Richard Maxwell Fellowship in Poetry. Judges noted the competition of worthy poets made the decision difficult, even as they agreed on co-winners rather than a single winner.

The fellowship provides free access to all conference readings, workshops and seminars. Each winner will receive a signed copy of one book, dinner with faculty, and a feature in the open reading.

Association for Iranian-American Writers -
Panel Discussion & Day-Long Workshop

(To inaugurate the Association for Iranian-American Writers)

Esther Kamkar will be joining a panel discussion and
day-long workshop
at the following venue:
Dr. Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture
When: May 3, 2008, 9am – 5 pm
Where: University of California, Irvine
Humanities Instructional Building (HIB)100
This event is free and open to the public
For further information please contact: Nasrin Rahimieh, Professor UC Irvine, (949) 824-0406,

Esther Kamkar, Eddie Gale, Georgette Gale
From left: Esther Kamkar, Eddie Gale, Georgette Gale

I was honored to be included, to read with the Inner Peace Orchestra's immensely talented musicians and Eddie's soulful trumpet, through his loving directions. Eddie Gale told the audience to pay attention to their own inner peace...without it there won't be peace in the world.

Nov 2007 - Concert for World Peace
Featuring the Inner Peace Orchestra
founded and directed by Eddie Gale

The performance will consist of music from the
Eddie Gale Library and poetry by Esther Kamkar
When: Saturday, November 17 2007, 7pm
Where: First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto
625 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301
For ticket info and enquiries call 650-323-6167

Nom deum spaciba trento

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit.

Esther Kamkar featured in Monterey Poetry Review
Spring 2007, Vol.3/No.1 "Childhood" edition
Read more here

Esther Kamkar poem appears in
"Joys of a Simple Meal" - Read it here

Anthology review in
Review by Jasmin Darznik here

Anthology review in Publishers Weekly
Read an excerpt here

February 2 - Waverley Writers Group with Esther Kamkar, Persis Karim and Farnaz Fatemi
Readings from the anthology Let Me Tell You Where I've Been edited by Persis Karim.
When: Friday, February 2, 2007, 7.30pm (Free)
Where: Waverley Writers Group, convening at the Friends' Meeting House957 Colorado Ave, Palo Alto.

January 28 - Persis Karim, Esther Kamkar and contributing authors - Pleasanton Library - Women of the Iranian Diaspora
Reading from the anthology Let Me Tell You Where I've Been.
When: Sunday, January 28, 2007, 2pm (Free)
Where: Pleasanton Public Library, 400 Old Bernal Ave, Pleasanton, CA94566.