Poetry. California Interest. Asian & Asian American Studies. Middle Eastern Studies. Film. Iranian-American. Poetry, like any creative act, can serve as a rupture to the violences enacted by the many closures we impose, demand, submit to, and reinforce. In particular the violence of knowledge-as-containment, of knowledge-as-possession; and the violence of absolute and singular answers, of an absolute and singular understanding, which ultimately sever one's responsibility toward the other. 'Nothing is Wasted' is Piryaei in conversation with herself, regarding inheritance and the credence that, as Audre Lorde writes, "there is no separate survival."
"In Shabnam Piryaei's NOTHING IS WASTED, the negative space of a photograph becomes the focal reality of her verse. Steeped in an aesthetic of nuance, each of these poems considers the expanses and shadows that surround the subject, never taking for granted the things that can be illuminated, even in the darkest corners. At once ethereal and rooted, these poems take on an exploration of our contemporary lives across landscapes both internal and external. These are poems that make us (re) consider our interior selves." --Matthew Shenoda
"Shabnam Piryaei cracks open experience to reveal elliptical and exquisite music. Her language is acrobatic, 'earskin taut' and bristles with a 'disassembling / gaze, ' which allows her to reassemble memory into poems that astonish and delight. Adventurous, sonic-rich, and lush, NOTHING IS WASTED is a book that quickens and enlarges our contemporary lives and vocabularies." --Eduardo Corral
"If you are as crazy about anaphoras as I am, then the first poem in NOTHING IS WASTED will engage and bid you proceed. Shabnam Piryaei's work rings smart, 'Every inheritance is a compass.'; surreal, 'a benevolent crow / pecked daylight's bullet / into the room' ...; and at the same time, pinned fast with moments that are utterly tactile, 'somehow unbroken / in your sleeping hand, a speckled egg'. A charming voice where NOTHING IS WASTED." --Kimiko Hahn
Described by the San Francisco Book Review as a force to be reckoned with in literary circles, Shabnam Piryaei is an award-winning Iranian-American writer and filmmaker. In addition to authoring the books NOTHING IS WASTED, FORWARD and ode to fragile, she has been awarded the Poets & Writers Amy Award and the Transport of the Aim Prize, as well as grants from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. She has written and directed three award-winning short films that have screened at festivals and galleries the U.S. and internationally.