Rooja Mohassessy: A Poetry Reading

Sunday, April 16
Event Time 03:00 p.m. - 04:30 p.m.
Location 2727 California Street, Berkeley, CA 94703-1846
Contact Email


Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies and Diaspora Arts Connection proudly present an ekphrastic poetry reading by Rooja Mohassessy on Sunday, April 16, 2023 at 3:00 pm at the 2727 Gallery in Berkeley.

"When Your Sky Runs Into Mine" is a memoir-in-verse recounting one woman's transnational journey through multiple cultures and across several borders. An ekphrastic conversation between niece and uncle, Rooja Mohassessy's poems pay homage to her uncle, the prominent Iranian painter and sculptor, Bahman Mohassess (1931-2010) who facilitated her emigration from Iran at the height of the Iran-Iraq war. The collection follows the coming-of-age journey of an adolescent toward self-realization and freedom.

This event is free and open to the public.

This event is supported in part by Poets & Writers.

About Rooja Mohassessy:

Rooja Mohassessy is an Iranian-born poet and educator. She is a MacDowell Fellow and an MFA graduate of Pacific University Oregon. Her debut collection "When Your Sky Runs Into Mine" (Feb 2023) was the winner of the 22nd Annual Elixir Poetry Award. Her poems and reviews have appeared in Narrative Magazine, Poet Lore, RHINO Poetry, Southern Humanities Review, CALYX Journal, Ninth Letter, Cream City Review, The Adroit Journal, New Letters, The Florida Review, Poetry Northwest, The Pinch, The Rumpus, The Journal, and elsewhere.

About Bahman Mohassess:

Bahman Mohassess (1931-2010) was born in Rasht, a city by the Caspian sea. On the paternal side, he was descendent of the Moghul Dynasty and the Ghadjars from the maternal side. As a young painter, Mohassess was apprenticed to Seyyed Mohammed Habib Mohammedi. He continued his artistic education in Tehran and in Rome. After the toppling of the Pahlavi dynasty, he lived in exile in Rome. His oeuvre comprises paintings, sculptures, and collages. He was also a celebrated translator of literary works. Many of his public works in Iran were destroyed during the Islamic Revolution, with the artist subsequently destroying many of his remaining works in Iran.

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