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Major Events in Life

Shamlu's Signature

1925 (1304) Saturday December 12, 1925: Ahmad Sh‚mlu is born in Tehran to Kowkab and Haydar Sh‚mlu. His father, Haydar, is an army officer
1927-37 (1306-16) Family moves to the southern towns of Kh‚sh, Zahedan, and later to Mashhad where he goes to primary school.
1938-41 (1317-20) Secondary school years are spent in Birjand, Mashhad, and Tehran. He is transferred from Ir‚nshahr Secondary School to Tehran Technicum to learn German.
1942 (1321) The Sh‚mlus move to Turkmen-Sahr‚. Mr Haydar Sh‚mlu is assigned to reorganize the gendarmerie force there.
1943-44 (1322-23) 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.
1945 (1324) 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.
1947 (1326) Marries for the first time. This marriage gives him four children: Siavash, Cyrus, S‚m‚n, and S‚qi.
1948 (1327) Establishes a magazine called Sokhan-e Nov, which is closed down after 5 issues.
1950 (1329) 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.
1951-53 (1330-32) 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.
1954 (1332-33) 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.
1955 (1334) 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.
1956 (1335) Chief editorship of B‚msh‚d magazine
1957 (1336) 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.
1958 (1337) 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.
1959 (1338) 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 Consult Co.
1960 (1339) 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.
1961-63 (1340-42) 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.
1964 (1343) 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.
1965 (1344) 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.
1966 (1345) 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 evening.
1967 (1346) 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.
1968 (1347) 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.
1969 (1348) 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.
1970 (1949) 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.
1971 (1350) 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.
1972 (1351) 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.
1973 (1352) 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.
1974 (1353) 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).
1975 (1354) 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.
1976 (1355) 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.
1977 (1356) 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.
1978 (1357) 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 children's books
1979-80 (1358-59) 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.
1981 (1360) 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
1982 (1361) 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.
1983 (1362) 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.
1984 (1363) 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..
1985 (1364) 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))
1986-7 (1365-6) 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.
1988 (1367) 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.
1989 (1368) UCLA invites him to CIRA 90 as its distinguished visitor.
1990 (1369) 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.
1991 (1370) 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.
1992 (1371) 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
1993 (1372) 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.
1994 (1373) 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 cassette form.
1995 (1374) 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
1996 (1375) After a few episodes of transient ischemic attacks undergoes carotid endarterectomy.
1997 (1376) 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
1998 (1376) 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.

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