Sunday, November 6, 3-6pm EST

Program Cost:



As with our other online programs, the live session will also be recorded, so you can participate live AND/OR by watching the recording.

The info to access the recording will be shared after you register. The recording will be available for 6 months.

About The Program

“Rumi’s beautiful melding of wildness, insight and untrammeled joy has found a true, unerring voice in Haleh Liza Gafori, whose own fine abilities as a poet bring these hallowed Persian, poetic gifts anew into 21st century English.”
– David Whyte

The 13th century mystic and sage Rumi was dedicated to unshackling his mind, opening his heart, and accessing deeper levels of serenity, compassion, and generosity. His poetry was meant to induce ecstatic illumination and liberation in listeners. Since his passing, readers across the world have returned to his text for inspiration and nourishment.

In this afternoon online workshop, we will read and discuss his poems, exploring the leaping imagery and mystical insights that inhabit them. Sufi mystical terms that recur in his poetry but have no one-to-one equivalent in English will be unpacked and lesser-known biographical anecdotes will be shared to further elucidate and contextualize the poems.

We will hear new translations in English as well as excerpts of the original Persian text, giving us access to previously uncovered meanings and to the astonishing rhythm, rhyme, and wordplay that grace the poetry in Persian.

We will consider and discuss how his insights on love, ego-death, mortality, generosity, greed, and compassion dialogue with our lives and our times. As we allow the honesty, humor, wisdom, and ecstasy that pervade his poems to pervade us, the “path of Love” may become less abstract and more walkable. There will be time to free write in response to a writing prompt, to ask questions, and to discuss themes in break-out rooms.

Meet the Presenter

Haleh Liza Gafori

Haleh Liza Gafori

Haleh Liza Gafori is a translator, musician, poet, and educator born in New York City of Persian descent. Her book of translations, GOLD: Poems by Rumi, was released by New York Review Books/Penguin Random House in March of 2022.

Haleh grew up hearing recitations of Persian poetry and has maintained and deepened her connection with the work through singing and translating poetry by various Persian poets, including the 13th century mystic and sage Rumi. With ears tuned to contemporary American poetry as well as to the subtleties of the Persian text, cultural context, and array of meanings animating certain words, Haleh brings a welcome depth and precision to the translations.

Haleh teaches classes on Rumi’s poetry at universities, festivals, and institutions across the country. Weaving song, translation, and story, she has performed at venues such as Lincoln Center and the Bonnaroo Festival. A graduate of Stanford University, her own writings have been published by Columbia University Press and Literary Hub.