Athena Farrokhzad

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Athena Farrokhzad
Athena Farrokhzad at Göteborg Book Fair 2013 02.JPG
Athena Farrokhzad (2013)
Born (1983-08-23) 23 August 1983 (age 38)
Teheran, Iran
OccupationPoet, playwright

Athena Farrokhzad (born 23 August 1983) is an Iranian-Swedish poet, playwright, translator and literary critic.


Farrokhzad was born in Teheran, Iran, and grew up in the Hammarkullen and Askim areas of Gothenburg, Sweden. She now lives in Bagarmossen, a suburb of Stockholm.[1] She is an instructor in the writing program at Nordens folk high school on the island of in Lake Mälaren.[2]


In 2013, Farrokhzad published a collection of poems titled Vitsvit (White Blight) with Albert Bonniers Förlag.[3] The same year, her translation into Swedish of work by the Romanian poet appeared,[4] and she made her debut as a playwright with Päron, which was performed by the youth section of (the county theatre of Östergötland), directed by Kajsa Isakson.[5] "White Blight", Jennifer Hayashida's translation of "Vitsvit," was published by Argos Books in 2015.[6] It was shortlisted for the 2016 National Translation Awards (NTA) in Poetry,[7] named one of Boston Globe's best poetry books of 2016,[8] and reviews appeared in Slate,[9] the Rumpus,[10] Kenyon Review,[11] and the Southeast Review.[12] As of 2018, Vitsvit has been translated into 12 languages.

Vitsvit has been adapted into a theatre play on two occasions; one production by Unga Klara theatre company directed by Farnaz Arbabi,[13] and one by the Swedish Radio Theatre, directed by Saga Gärde.[14]

Farrokhzad has published two poetry anthologies, Manualen with Tova Gerge and Ett tunt underlag with the poetry group G=T=B=R=G, both in 2009. She edited the queer poetry anthology Omslag with and has organized literary events such as Queerlitt, Demafor and World Poetry Day. She is also a literature critic for the newspaper Aftonbladet.[15]

Sommar host[]

Farrokhzad hosted the Sveriges Radio show Sommar on P1 on 21 July 2014.[16] Her show led to strong reactions from some listeners.[17] Gunnar Axén of the Moderate Party expressed the opinion that her decision to play the Ebba Grön song Beväpna er ("Arm yourselves") was inappropriate and claimed to have thrown out his television so he could stop paying the license fee.[18] The license fee, which must be paid by all households with a television, is used to fund not only television, but also radio.[19] Others reacted more positively, including Ebba Grön lead singer Joakim Thåström and some reporters and listeners.[20] As of 25 July 2014 there had been 70 complaints to the Swedish Broadcasting Commission concerning Farrokhzad's show, the most complaints received about any host of the program.[21] The show was however cleared on all counts.[22] She was not included by SVT in the line-up for the television discussion show Sommarpratarna, but the program-makers denied she was left out due to the controversy surrounding her radio show.[23]


Vitsvit was nominated for the 2013 August Prize in the literature category,[24] for the (a prize for new authors),[25] and the Catapult Prize of . Farrokhzad was joint winner of the Karin Boye Literary Prize in 2013 and in 2014 won the Stora Läsarpriset (Grand Reader's Prize).[26]


  1. ^ "Vitt på svart med Athena Farrokhzad". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Athena Farrokhzads sommarprat den 21 juli". Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  3. ^ Bremmer, Magnus (8 February 2013). "Ordkamp som utmanar". Svenska Dagbladet. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Svetlana Cârstean och Athena Farrokhzad". Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  5. ^ Ring, Lars (12 November 2013). "Galen teaterdikt om tillvaron som fruktsallad". Svenska Dagbladet. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  6. ^ "White Blight « Argos Books". Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  7. ^ bpenzer (29 September 2016). "Announcing the 2016 NTA Shortlists in Poetry and Prose!". Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  8. ^ Makishima, Paul S. "Best books of 2016 - The Boston Globe". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  9. ^ Farmer, Jonathan (7 April 2016). "Lonely, Beautiful Poems About Iranian Immigrants in Sweden". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  10. ^ "White Blight By Athena Farrokhzad Translated By Jennifer Hayashida - The". July 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  11. ^ ""A Fever That Escalates With Every Blow": Athena Farrokhzad's White Blight". The Kenyon Review. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Review from Swedish newspaper Expressen ("Fulländat poetiskt i Farrokhzads Vitsvit")
  14. ^ Swedish Radio website: Archived 2 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Hans raseri hyllas av danska rasister". Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  16. ^ "Athena Farrokhzad". Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  17. ^ "Athena Farrokhzads sommarprogram". Sveriges Radio. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  18. ^ Salö, Freja (22 July 2014). "Moderat toppolitiker rasar mot Sommar i P1". SVT Nyheter. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  19. ^ Rapacioli, Paul (13 January 2011). "Swedish TV licence fees contribute to better society". The Local. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  20. ^ "Punkikonens kommentar till P1-utspelet: "Beväpna er"". Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  21. ^ "Omdiskuterat sommarprat uppe i sjutton anmälningar". Sveriges Radio. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  22. ^ SR friat för Farrokhzads sommarprogram. Sveriges Radio. Retrieved 12 December 2021
  23. ^ "SVT stoppar Athena Farrokhzad". Svenska Dagbladet. 11 August 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  24. ^ Schibbye, Martin (21 October 2013). "De är nominerade till årets Augustpris". Sveriges Radio (in Swedish).
  25. ^ Sennerteg, Niclas (10 February 2014). "Årets fem mest prisvärda debutanter". Borås Tidning (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 14 September 2014.
  26. ^ Arvidsson, Anna. "Athena Farrokhzad tilldelas Stora läsarpriset 2013 - Albert Bonniers Förlag". Albert Bonniers Forlag. Archived from the original on 17 September 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.

External links[]

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