||Saturday December 12, 1925: Ahmad
Sh‚mlu is born in Tehran to Kowkab and Haydar Sh‚mlu. His father, Haydar, is an
||Family moves to the southern
towns of Kh‚sh, Zahedan, and later to Mashhad where he goes to primary school.
||Secondary school years are spent in Birjand,
Mashhad, and Tehran. He is transferred from Ir‚nshahr Secondary School to Tehran
Technicum to learn German.
||The Sh‚mlus move to Turkmen-Sahr‚. Mr Haydar Sh‚mlu is assigned to
reorganize the gendarmerie force there.
||starts his life-long political activity. Ahmad
is arrested in Tehran and sent to prison in Rasht. He The family moves to Gorg‚n.
Secondary school years. Ahmad is then released.
||Shortly after his release he
is arrested together with his father by the separatist local government of Azarbaijan.
They are kept waiting for execution in front of a firing squad. for hours before the order
of release arrives. Moves with his family to Rez‚'ieh (Orumieh) to go to secondary school
again, but returns to Tehran and leaves school for good.
||Marries for the first time. This marriage
gives him four children: Siavash, Cyrus, S‚m‚n, and S‚qi.
||Establishes a magazine called Sokhan-e
Nov, which is closed down after 5 issues.
||His story Zan-e Posht-e Dar-e
Mefraghi (The Woman Behind a Bronze Door) is published. Individually
publishes 7 issues of another magazine called Rowzaneh.
||Is appointed as an editor of Kh‚ndanih‚
magazine. She'r-e 23 ( Poem of 23) as well as a collection of poems called Qat'n‚meh
(The Resolution) appear in print. Edits an anti Shah paper called ¬tashb‚r. Is
invited by the Hungarian Embassy in Tehran as their cultural consultant. In 1953 his
collection of poems called ¬hanh‚ vo Ehs‚s ( The Iron and
Emotion) is burnt by police in a raid on the printer's. Only one copy of this collection
exists and is kept in a private collection.
||After the CIA-backed coup in 19 August.1953
and overthrow of Mosaddeq's government, which was the most popular government since the
1906 revolution, Sh‚mlu had to live in hiding for six months. Then he was arrested and
sent to prison to be released 13 months later.
||The only copies of 4
collections of poems, including Marg-e Sh‚m‚hi (Death Of The
King-Fish), disappears with a person called Naqq‚shi‚n who took them for publication.
Translations of La Rouille by H. le Porriť and Lťon Morin, PrÍtre
by B. Becck are published.
||Chief editorship of B‚msh‚d
||Collection of poems called Hav‚-ye
T‚zeh (Fresh Air) is published. Publication of H‚fez's Ghazals
(lyrics) as well as verses by Abu Sa'id Abil-Khair, Omar Khayy‚m, B‚b‚ T‚her and
Nez‚mi. Second marriage.
||An acclaimed and widely read
translation of Z Stancu's novel Descult is published. This, like most of other
translations done by Sh‚mlu, is intended to introduce a talented progressive foreign
author to Iranian readers. His father dies.
||A book in verse for children
called Khorus Zari, Pirhan Pari (Golden Rooster, Feather Clad) is
published. Makes a documentary film about Sist‚n and Baluchest‚n provinces for Ital
||Collection of poems called B‚gh-e
¬yeneh (Garden of Mirrors) is published. Together with H‚di Shaf‚'ieh
(photographer) and Sohr‚b Sepehri (poet and artist) establishes an audio-visual section
for the Ministry of Agriculture.
||Edits Ket‚b-e Hafteh,
a literary, artistic, and scientific weekly. The standard set by this weekly for the
Iranian press remains unsurpassed. Divorces his second wife. Falls in love with ¬id‚.
Translations of plays TreiziŤme Arbre by A. Gide and Sisyphe et Mort
by R. Merle are published. Now and then writes dialogues for films.
||Marries ¬id‚. Collections of poetry called ¬id‚
dar ¬yeneh (¬id‚ in the Mirror) and Lahze-h‚ vo Hamisheh
(Moments and Ever) are published. A prestigious magazine called Andisheh vo Honar
dedicates a special issue to him.
||Collection of poetry called ¬id‚,
Derakht o Khanjar o Kh‚tereh (¬id‚, Tree, Dagger and Memory) is published.
Research on Ket‚b-e Kucheh (Book of Street), his
monumental encyclopedia of folklore, is started for the third time (his documents and
notes have twice been lost in police raids and family disputes). His translation of 81490
by A. Chambon is published.
||His collection of poetry called Qoqnus dar b‚r‚n
(Phoenix in the Rain) is published. Establishes a literary weekly called B‚ru,
which is closed down after 3 issues after to an ultimatum from the Minister of
Information. Accepts an invitation from Iran-American Society for a poetry reading
||Edits the literary and
cultural section of Khusheh magazine. His translation of Georgia Boy by E.
Caldwell is published. Becomes a member of K‚nun-e Nevisandegan-e Iran (Iranian
Writers' Centre). Takes part in another poetry reading evening at Pahlavi University in
Shir‚z. Reads his poetry at a gathering in Kerm‚nsh‚h.
||Starts working on H‚fez's Ghazals. His
translation of Lorca's Noce de Sang and Solomon's
Song of Songs are published. Produces some radio programmes for
children and adolescents. Takes part in poetry-reading evening at Goethe Institut, Tehran.
||While publishing Khusheh
magazine, organizes poetry-reading evenings for other poets. SAVAK, Shah's
notorious secret service, closes the magazine. Some stories for children called Chi
Shod ke Dustam D‚shtan? (What Happened That They Loved Me?) and a new
selection of his poetry, are published. Two collections of poetry, Az Hav‚ vo
¬yeneh‚ (Of Air and Mirrors) and Marsieh‚-ye Kh‚k (Elegies
of Earth), appear in print.
||His collection called Shekoftan dar
Meh (Blossoming in the Mist) and a tale for children called Maleke-ye
S‚ye-h‚ (The Queen of Shadows) are published. Makes some folklore films for
television. Translates some stories for children.
||New versions of two previously
translated novels, La Rouille and Descult are published. A
tale for children called Qesse-ye Haft Kal‚ghun (The Tale of
Seven Crows) appears in print. His mother dies. His contribution to the press is banned
but some of his work may be published in book form.
||Starts teaching Persian at the Technical
University. A series of cassettes and records called The Poet's Voice is produced by The
Centre for Mental Development of Children and Adolescents. In this series, which gets a
large audience and influences many young minds, he reads some verses by classical poets
H‚fez, Rumi and Khayy‚m, as well as some modern poetry by Nim‚ and himself. Writes the
screenplay Halv‚ Bar‚-ye Zende-h‚ (Halwa for the Living).
Translations of The Nose by R. Akutagava and Comment
les Blancs sont d'anciens Noir by B. Cendrars, and a collection of
stories by M. Twain and A. Chekhov are published. Has another poetry-reading evening at
the Goethe Institute, Tehran. Goes to Paris for a back operation. Contributes to the
literary sections of two Tehran dailies, ¬yandeg‚n and Kayh‚n.
||Collection of poetry called Ebr‚him
dar ¬tash (Abraham in the Fire), a book called Darh‚ vo Div‚r-e
Bozorg-e Chin (The Doors and the Great Wall of China) as well as a
screenplay, Takht-e Abu-Nasr (Abu-Nasr's Seat) and translations of
La Mort Est Mon Mťtier by R. Merle, A Collection of World Poetry are
published; these are followed by a collection of translated poetry entitled Hamchun
Kuche-yi Bi-enteh‚ (As an Endless Street). Resumes contribution to the
cultural supplement of a Tehran daily called Kayh‚n.
||Is invited to pursue his work on Ket‚b-e
Kucheh at the Language Academy. Translates and publishes a collection of stories by E.
A. Poe, F. Kafka, S. Lagerlof, and others under the title Sarb‚zi az Yek
Dowr‚n-e Separi Shodeh (A Soldier from Past Times).
||His controversial edition of
H‚fez's Ghazals appears in print which, young people who would have otherwise been
indifferent to classical poetry, have widely read and appreciated.
||Becomes director of the research centre at
Bu'Ali University. Writes and reads narrations for artistic and cultural films like one
about the historic complex of Ganjali-Khan Bath House. Is invited
by PEN and Princeton University for lectures in the United States. Meets poets and writers
likes Yashar Kamal, Adonis, Al-Bayati. Is invited to MIT and Boston University, Princeton
University and U.C. Berkeley to read his poetry. Declines the proposition made by Columbia
University to work on Ket‚b-e Kucheh there. Is invited to San
Francisco and Austin (Texas) to take part in The World Festival of Poetry. Reads his
poetry at gatherings of Iranian students in Philadelphia and New York. Returns to Iran.
||An introduction to his poetry
by A. Karimi-Hakkak, Rutgers University, is published in World Literature Today, a
literary quarterly of the University of Oklahoma (Apendix 1). His collection of poetry
called Deshneh dar Dis (Dagger in the Dish) and some translated
short stories by A. Nesin, E. Caldwell and others under the title Zahr-Khand
(Sneer) are published. Leaves Iran in protest at repression there. Reads his
poetry at the Fifth Poetry Festival held at the University of Texas (Austin). A selection
of his poetry is published.
||Nassau Literary Review prints
an interview with him and 4 of his poems in an issue entitled Four Artists in 1978: Allen
Ginsberg, Michael Graves, Kate Millet, Ahmad Sh‚mlu (appendix 2) Is asked to edit Ir‚nshahr
weekly in London. After editing 12 issues quits in protest to the publisher's refusal to
print his editorial, which strongly criticized the reactionary and oppressive character of
the upcoming rulers. Poems called Qesse-ye Dokhtar‚-ye Naneh Dary‚
(Tale of Mother-Sea's Daughters) and B‚roon (The Rain) appear as
||The Islamic Revolution
succeeds. Sh‚mlu returns to Iran, full of skeptical concerns. A collection of articles
under the title Az Maht‚bi be Kucheh (From Verandah to Street).
is published in Iran. First volume of Ket‚b-e Kucheh appears in
print. Is elected to Board of Secretaries of The Iranian Writers' Centre. Contributes to
many papers and magazines. Establishes and edits a lirterary, cultural and political
weekly called Ket‚b-e Jom'eh. The weekly is closed down after 36
issues. Reads his poetry at the L'Institut Franco Iranien. The collection called Tar‚ne-h‚ye
Kuchak-e Ghorbat (Little Songs of an Alienation) is published. His translation of Le
Petit Prince by A de Saint-Exupťry appears in Ket‚b-e Jom'eh. A translation
of Let Me Speak! by D B Chungara is published. Reads at the Goethe Institute
poetry evening, a major social and literary event. K‚shef‚n-e Forutan-e
Shukaran (The Humble Discoverers of Hemlock) appears as books and cassettes.
His recorded readings of his translation of Lorca's poems appear.
||A poem and a story for
children, Khorus Zari Pirhan Pari (Golden Rooster, Feather Clad)
and Yal-o Ezhdeh‚ (The Knight and the Dragon) appear in book and
cassette form. Third volume of Ket‚b-e Kucheh comes out. Work on Ket‚b-e
Kucheh goes on, now with ¬id‚'s help. Is re-elected to the Board of
Secretaries of the Iranian Writers' Centre
||The Middle East magazine
prints an article about Forugh and Sh‚mlu (Noticed in Press Reviews Section) His joint
translation of Haiku poems is published. His translation of the Il est minuit,
Docteur Schweitzer by G. Cesbron appears. Fourth volume of Ket‚b-e Kucheh is
allowed to be published.
||His translation of Langston
Hughes's collection of poetry called Negro appears in cassette and book form. Fifth
volume of Ket‚b-e Kucheh is published.
||A selection of his poetry is
published. Publication of his books is banned but he can now and then contribute to the
press. All his books are removed from library shelves..
||The journal IRANIAN STUDIES
publishes a comprehensive review of his work by L. P. Alishan, University of Utah, in its
Spring-Autumn issue. (Noticed in Another Page))
||Rewrites and comprehensively
comments on Graham Greene's novel Power and Glory under the title Is‚ Digar,
Yahuda Digar! (Jesus the Other, Judas the Other!) Interviews with N‚ser Hariri and
Mohammad Mohammad-Ali Writes a screenplay called Mir‚s (the
Legacy). His edition of H‚fez's Ghazals is published in Kabul, Afghanistan.
||Is invited to the Interlit 2.
Goes to Germany and meets Derek Walcott, Aziz Nesin, Pedro Shimose, Lorna Goodison,
Gioconda Belli and others. His speech in this congress is entitled "I Am Everyone's
Agony, Cry Me Out!" Reads his poetry at the Literarisches Colloquium, West Berlin.
First volume (in Persian) of his poems is published in Germany. Reads his poetry at an
evening in Giessen, Germany. Is invited by the University of Economics in Vienna to read
his poetry at Audi Max Wu. Is invited to Sweden by the PEN Swedish Centre to meet its
members. Reads his poetry at "Folkets Hus" in Stockholm. Is invited to meet
students at Uppsala University. Second volume of his poems is published in Germany.
Returns to Iran. Starts translating Sholokhov's The Quiet Don.
||UCLA invites him to CIRA 90 as
its distinguished visitor.
||1990 (1369) Delivers his
controversial speech Negar‚nih‚-ye Man (My Concerns) at the University of California at
Berkeley. In this speech, which immediately causes debates as well as bitter attacks
against him, he asks for a more rational and less biased and chauvinistic approach in
teaching Iranian mythology and history. Reads at two poetry evenings at Berkeley. Is
invited by UCLA to Los Angeles. Reads his poetry at Royce Hall Auditorium. Is invited by
Chicago, Michigan, Harvard, Columbia, Rutgers and Washington universities to read his
poetry. Undergoes two operations. Reads his poetry at three fund raising evenings held by
UCLA and the Armenian Cultural Center of Boston for Iranian earthquake victims and Iraqi
Kurd refugees. At the UCLA delivers a speech entitled Mafhum-e Rend o Rendi Dar
Ghazal-e H‚fez (What Do Rend and Rendi Mean in H‚fez's Ghazal).
Starts writing his satirical book called Roozn‚me-ye Safar-e Meymanat Asar-e I‚l‚t-e
Motfarreq-ye Emrighģ(A Diary of the Much Blessed Royal Trip to the Untidied States of
Americģ) Is invited by U. C. Berkeley to teach contemporary Persian literature for one
term. Is awarded the Free Expression Prize by Human Rights Watch.
||Reads at fund raising evenings
held by Berkeley and UCLA for Iraqi Kurd refugees. Is interviewed by Zam‚neh magazine,
which dedicates the issue to Ahamad Sh‚mlu. Goes to Austria. Reads his poetry at the Afro
Asiatisches Institut inVienna to raise funds in favour of Iraqi Kurd refugees. Returns to
Iran. Translates some poetry by Langston Hughes and Octavio Paz.
||His collection of poetry
called Mad‚yeh-e Bi-seleh (The Unrewarded Eulogies) is
published in Sweden. This collection includes many poems boldly praising the martyred
revolutionaries murdered by successive governments to that time. A volume of Tales From Ket‚b-e
Kucheh is published in Sweden. The ban on his books is partially lifted.
More than 200 translated poems are published in Hamchun Kuche'i Bi-enteh‚
(As an Endless Street
||His interview with M Mohammad-Ali and the
sixth volume of Ket‚b-e Kucheh appear in print. Selected Poems is published. His new
translations of L'…popťe de Gilgamesh and Solomon's Song of Songs are complete but are
refused permission to be published on pretext of obscenity. Seventh book, and so far the
last, of Ket‚b-e Kucheh is allowed to be published.
||Is invited to Sweden by the
Iranians community there. Due to serious illness fails to appear at some poetry evenings.
Reads at a poetry evenings held at OSE Gimnasium, Stockholm and later at GŲteborg. Arash
FŲrlag in Sweden publishes a collection of his poetry in Persian and Swedish entitled
Allomfattande Kšrlek. Orphťe/La Diffťrence in France publishes a collection of his
poetry in Persian and French entitled Hymnes d'amour et d'espoire. Has a TV interview in
Stockholm. Returns to Iran. His new readings of poetry by H‚fez, Rumi and Nim‚ appear in
||Papeles de inverno in Madrid publishes a
translation of some of his poems under the title AURORA . Finishes translating The Quiet
Don. Sends a message to the congress dedicated to him by the Iranian Writers' Center at
Toronto University in Canada
||After a few episodes of
transient ischemic attacks undergoes carotid endarterectomy.
||Undergoes two other major operations: 1.
Femoropopliteal by-pass grafting as treatment of a gangrenous foot. 2. below knee
amputation of the right leg. Daftar-e Honar in the US dedicates to him its 8th
issue. A CD from his readings of H‚fez, Rumi, Nima, as well as his own Pariya
(Fairies) and Qesse-ye Dokhtar‚-ye Naneh Dary‚ (Tale of Mother-Sea's
Daughters) is released by Mahoor Publishers. Dar ¬st‚neh (On the threshold), a
collection of poems, is published
||Selected poems Dar Jed‚l
b‚ Kh‚mooshi (Defying Silence) is published.Volumes 1 & 2, of Ket‚b-e
Kucheh, letter B, are published. Dikter om natten, a collection of 28 poems in
Swedish is published by Baram FŲrlog Stockholm. Bonbasth‚ va Babrh‚y-e ¬sheq
(Dead-Ends and Loving Tigers), a collection of poems selected by A. P‚sh‚'i is
published. Shen‚khtn‚mey-e Ahamad-e Sh‚mlu (Knowing Ahmad Sh‚mlu) edited by J.
Mojabi is published.