The Maziar Maghsoodnia Memorial Fund

The Maziar Maghsoodnia Memorial Fund for Poetry

The Maziar Maghsoodnia Poetry Fund supports Persian literature, especially Persian poetry, in the Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures. The Fund is named after Maziar “Mazi” Maghsoodnia, who was tragically killed in a car accident in March 2016. Maziar was a wonderful, gentle human being, a loving family man, and a great lover and admirer of Persian poetry. He also loved Berkeley, the city, the campus, the university, and the Persian program. In his memory, his family and friends put together this generous fund to promote Persian poetry at Berkeley. Recognizing the centrality of Persian poetry in the production and compostion of literary heritage of the Iranian world, the Maghsoodnia Memorial Fund supports seminars and colloquia on outstanding figures of classical poetry, as well as lectures and poetry readings by and about prominent contemporary Persian poets. This endowment will enhance the learning experience of Berkeley’s students of Iranian heritage and students of Persian language and literature and enable direct engagement with contemporary poets and literary scholars.

Dr. Dominic Parviz Brookshaw

March 4, 2022

The inaugural Maghsoodnia Persian Poetry Reading occurred on March 4, 2022 with Dr. Dominic Parviz Brookshaw, who gave a talk entitled "An Earthly Paradise or a City Teeming with Rabble? Shiraz as depicted in the poetry of Hafez and his contemporaries." Dr. Brookshaw is Professor of Persian Literature at the University of Oxford, and Senior Research Fellow in Persian at Wadham College. From 2015-2020, Dominic served on the Editorial Board of Middle Eastern Literatures and, from 2004 to 2014, he was Assistant Editor for Iranian Studies. He is a former member of both the Board of the Association for Iranian Studies, and the Governing Council of the British Institute of Persian Studies. His latest book, Hafiz and His Contemporaries: Poetry, Performance, and Patronage in Fourteenth-century Iran (Bloomsbury, 2019), was awarded the Saidi-Sirjani Book Award in 2020.

Solmaz Sharif

September 13, 2023

Solmaz Sharif gave the second Maziar Maghsoodnia Memorial Fund Reading on September 13, 2023. She was in conversation with Lubna Safi, an advanced Ph.D. candidate at MELC and the author of Your Blue and the Quiet Lament: Poems

Born in Istanbul to Iranian parents, Solmaz Sharif is the author of Customs (Graywolf Press, 2022) and Look (Graywolf Press, 2016), a finalist for the National Book Award. She holds degrees from U.C. Berkeley, where she studied and taught with June Jordan's Poetry for the People, and New York University. Her work has appeared in Harper's, The Paris Review, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, the New York Times, and others. Her work has been recognized with a "Discovery"/Boston Review Poetry Prize, Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, and Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lannan Foundation, and Stanford University. She is currently the Shirley Shenker Assistant Professor of English at UC Berkeley.