Saturday, November 23, 2019 | An Evening with Hafiz of Shiraz | 8 pm | Advance Tix $20 – At Door $30

An Evening with Hafiz of Shiraz

Saturday, November 23, 2019
8 pm

Recently published translations by:
Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. & Iraj Anvar
Music performed by:
Dawn Avery & Afshin Goodarzi


A special evening of the ghazals of Hafiz, sung and recited in English and Persian, accompanied by classical Persian and Western musicians.

The ghazals of Khwája Muhammad Shams ud-Din Háfiz-i Shírází (d. 1389), the pre-eminent lyric poet of Persian literature, speak of love, human and divine. So finely do they hover on this interface with the divine that he is known as “The Interpreter of Mysteries” and “The Tongue of the Invisible.” His poems speak to each individual heart, and they continue to be recited and sung by people throughout the Eastern Islamic world: scholars and bus drivers, writers and performers, school children and Sufis.

On this special evening the ghazals of Hafiz will be sung and recited in English and Persian, accompanied by classical Persian and Western musicians, in an intimate evening gathering at the Dergah al-Farah. The evening will feature recently-published English translations of Hafiz by Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. and Iraj Anvar, and music performed by Dawn Avery (Darya) and Afshin Goodarzi.



Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. is a poet, translator, and corporate consultant. Translations from classical and contemporary Persian include Wine & Prayer: Eighty Ghazals from the Diwán of Háfiz (2019), The Green Sea of Heaven: Fifty Ghazals from the Diwan-i Hafiz-i Shirazi (1995), Iran: Poems of Dissent (2013), and “Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season” by Forough Farrokhzad (in Mantis, 2014). Sections of the Tibeto-Mongolian folk epic “The Life of King Kesar of Ling,” co-translated with Dr. Siddiq Wahid of the University of Kashmir, appear in Columbia University Press’s Sources of Tibetan Tradition (2013). She has published two books of original poetry: Salient (New Directions, 2020) and SERIES | INDIA (Four Way Books, 2015). She was the founding CEO and Managing Partner of Conflict Management, Inc. and Alliance Management Partners, LLC. She serves as Chairman of The Beloit Poetry Journal Foundation and as Corporate Secretary of Friends of Writers. She joined the Board of Human Rights and Democracy in Iran, based in Washington, D.C, in 2018, and served as Chair of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, in New Haven, Connecticut from 2009-2015. She holds a B.A. and J. D. from Harvard University and an M. F. A. from Warren Wilson College. She lives in New York City.

Iraj Anvar is an actor, singer, stage and film director, writer, translator, and educator.  He earned a degree in acting and directing at Alessandro Fersen’s Studio di Arti Sceniche in Rome, Italy and upon returning to Tehran, co-founded the Tehran Theater Workshop which became the most important center for innovative and avant-guard theater in Iran. He earned his Ph. D. in Middle Eastern Studies at NYU where he taught Persian language and literature for several years. He has also taught Persian literature and language at Harvard, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, New York University and Wisconsin University. He has had a lifelong involvement in the poetry of Rumi and Hafez. In New York, he has read and sung Rumi and Hafez in Persian and in his own translations at the Asia Society, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, St. Bartholomew’s Church, and elsewhere. He has published two books of translations of Rumi’s ghazals: Divan-i Shams-i Tabriz, Forty Eight Ghazals (2002), and Rumi, Say Nothing (2008), and another book is forthcoming. He co-translated a collection of Hafiz’s ghazals, Wine & Prayer: Eighty Ghazals from the Diwán of Háfiz, with Elizabeth T. Gray Jr. (2019). He teaches Persian at Brown University and lives in Rhode Island with his wife and his youngest son.

Dawn Avery‘s exploration of sacred music led her to study the relationship between music and spirituality.  Dawn (Darya) has led meditation groups and spiritual music performances at the Esalen Institute, the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, Milan Sacred Music Festival, The Open Center in NYC, and Musicales Visuales in Mexico City.  As a leader of meditation and creativity workshops, she has worked with great healers such as the Dalai Lama, Sherif Baba Catalkaya of the Refa’i Sufi Order, Rick Jarow, Ron Young, Chidvilasananda and Hilda Charlton. Her musical path has led to critically acclaimed collaborations with Ustad Sultan Khan and Pandit Makes Jadhav, Humayun Khan, Reza Derakshani  (Water from the Well), Sussan Deyhim (Madman of God, Shy Angels, and soundtracks with Sussan Deyhim in the films of Shirin Neshat).  She is also known for her collaborative Rumi Concerts with Coleman Barks, Zuleikha, Glen Velez, Shahrok Moshkin Ghalam, and Omar Faruk Tekbilek. The newest Sufi inspired multi-media project “Beloved” with Dawn Avery (voice, cello) features Behfar Bahadoran (Persian daf, tar, setar, voice), Larry Mitchell (ambient, electric and acoustic guitars), guest whirling dervishes, and video projection by Kate Freer.  She was honored to record in an earlier project of Hafiz translations by Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. with Reza Derakshani, “The Green Sea of Heaven” (2002), and is delighted to join Liz, Iraj and musicians at the very special Dergah al-Farah of Shaykha Fariha Nur.

Afshin Goodarzi has been an avid student of Iranian classical music for over 25 years. He started his studies of the Iranian Setar with Reza Derakhshani and has continued to study the Radif and its performance over the past 20 years. Afshin Goodarzi has performed and lectured at numerous venues throughout the northeast.


Venue: The Sufi Lodge
245 West Broadway, New York City

Nur Ashki Jerrahi Community / 212-966-9773

Posted in

, ,