A Revolution in Rhyme: Poetic Co-Option Under the Islamic Republic


Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.4 X 9.4 X 1.0 inches | 1.45 pounds

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About the Author

Fatemeh Shams, Assistant Professor of Modern Persian Literature, University of Pennsylvania Dr. Fatemeh Shams is Assistant Professor of Modern Persian literature at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her Ph.D in Oriental Studies from University of Oxford, Wadham College. Before joining Penn, she taught Persian language and literature at the University of Oxford, University of SOAS, and The Courtauld Institute of Art in United Kingdom. Her fields of interest include the social history of modern Persian literature, classical and modern prose, literary institutions and their role in the literary production under authoritarian states, ideology, censorship, and official literature in modern Iran. As well as publishing numerous articles, she is also an award-winning poet and has published three collections of her poetry.


"This book is indispensable ... I strongly recommend" -- Farhang Jahanpour, International Journal of Middle East Studies

"Fatemeh Shams has written an account of state-sponsored poetic production in Iran which is both scrupulously scholarly and exciting. It is an important and original contribution to the literature." -- Stephanie Cronin, Oxford University

"Dr Shams's Revolution in Rhyme is a ground-breaking work that demonstrates how poets supportive of the Iranian Revolution of 1979, and the state that emerged from this Revolution, utilized "an ancient tradition of poetic patronage for poems of praise and mourning" in order to create the "official" poetry of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The book presents a nuanced, detailed, and extremely cogent examination of a complex and important literary phenomenon that has all too often been glibly dismissed in the west as mere state propaganda." -- Dick Davis, Ohio State University

"Drawing on a wide variety of literary cultures and traditions, Shams offers a novel analytical framework in this book that helps us understand not only Persian poetry but also modern Iran, the Islamic Revolution, and the government established by it in genuinely new ways." -- Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, University of California, Los Angeles

"A Revolution in Rhyme is a must read for all students of Persian poetry. Exploring the poetic revival in the aftermath of the 1979 Revolution, Shams provides rare insight into what poetry can do for ideology without sacrificing all poetic merit. Her close readings are careful, imaginative, and heartfelt." -- Fatemeh Keshavarz, University of Maryland