I’ve been writing since the age of three. From aphorisms and short poems in Farsi, to short stories in French, to more elaborate narratives in English when I landed in the U.S. at the age of ten. Then, of course, all sorts of experimentations and melding of languages and genres, as one can imagine. My first publications were in The Daily Princetonian at my alma mater, Princeton University. Soon after, I began to think of myself as a ‘bookist’–someone who envisions, thinks through, and creates for/within the book structure (often knowing the beginning and the end!): small books to big books to medium books–never thinking first of the genre. Over the years, continued explorations. I never call my work ‘experimental’ as I think that is simply a way of taming this venture that is contesting structures and systems, a grand creative/critical enterprise. Sure, we experiment, bu we find! I like to call it ‘innovational’ (and call non-innovational works, ‘conventional’). If an old category is demanded, avant-garde still works for me.
Over the years, I did go back to, occasionally, essays and shorter forms, but still think of myself mostly as a bookist. The repertoire though, and the oeuvre, has vastly expanded. There has been so much to do and explore and create within the digital universe, online, through new technical possibilities, through new tools–and entities (robots!). Always with the history and theory of literature in mind, and, when not in the realm of strict literature, the possibilities of writing in mind.
And thus: as of December 2022, to give proper representation to physical books as well as digital literary works (or digital works with literary characteristics/flair) and more radical literary pieces, I highlight, mention—and feature the following number of works in the following categories.
Ø PhisiBooks: Physical books: 23. Includes 19 individually authored books, 2 translations and 2 co-authored books.
Ø DigiWorks (books, sites, etc): Digital books/Endeavors: 10. Includes eWorks and projects with major Emanifestations.
Ø RadMax: 11 (Includes the epic, two selas, etc.)
Over the years also: over two dozen papers/essays published on a number of topics–from translation to curriculum design to museums and civic engagement, and over fifty public performances of original poems/encantations/recitations. (Along with the aforementioned articles in the good old Prince.)
More officially: An internationally acclaimed writer, poet, translator, newformist and cultural designer and curator, he is the author of more than twenty literary works, including Kobolierrot, Feu L’encre/Fable, Erre, and L’opéra minora, a 440-page multilingual book that is in the MoMA Library Artists’ Books collection and in the Rare Books collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
An uncategorizable body of work, his literary œuvre—written directly in English, French, Farsi, Spanish and various hybrids—constitutes a radical polyphonic enterprise that puts into question national, cultural and aesthetic attachments while fashioning innovative genres, discursive endeavors and types of literary artifacts, including, launched in 2016 with Le Chaise (Yes, Le), a newly fashioned species called are the ‘clandies’, works characterized by their clandestine dissemination.
Nothing maddens like categories. And the consciousness of being in their grip. And the desire, lo, the necessity, to revise them. Reformulate and reconsider. Reframe, to resituate, oneself, one’s body of work, one’s stuff. Reconsider and reclaim. Re-envision, really. New genres, new forms, new experiences. New types of things. New species of literary beasts. That’s why on creates. That’s what literary works are for. Alternative visions of the world. The creation of new realities. Literature, I’ve always said, is not about words, it’s about the lack of words…