Nasrin Parvaz – Walls

Profile Nasrin Parvaz LE P&W Dec V Two 2018

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Walls, poems by Nasrin Parvaz

Nasrin Parvaz became a civil rights activist when the Islamic regime took power in 1979. She was arrested in 1982, tortured and spent eight years in prison. In 1993, she fled to England. Nasrin’s novel, ‘The Secret Letters from X to A’, was published by Victorina Press, in July 2018.  Nasrin’s memoir, ‘One Woman’s Struggle in Iran, A Prison Memoir’, will be published by Victorina Press in December 2018. Nasrin’s prison memoir was published in Farsi in 2002, and it was published in Italian in 2006. A novel, Temptation, based on the true stories of some male prisoners who survived the 1988 massacre of Iranian prisoners was published in Farsi in 2008. Nasrin’s poetry and stories have been published in different anthologies, including: Words and Women, March 2017; Over Land, Over Sea, Poems for those seeking refuge, 2015; Exiled Writers Ink; Modern Poetry in Translation and Live Encounters Magazine. Since 2005, together with poet Hubert Moore, Nasrin has translated poems, prohibited in Iran, from Farsi into English. They appear in the Modern Poetry in Translation series. Nasrin has given talks on the violation of human rights in Iran, both in Farsi and in English, in a number of countries. She has spoken at Southbank Centre (2015 and 2016), Bare Lit Festival (2016 and 2017), and for organizations such as Amnesty International, Cambridge PEN and the Medical Foundation. Nasrin was the guest artist of Our Lives, May 1st – 8th 2018 Exhibition of Art by Foreign National Prisoners. Her paintings were accepted for inclusion in the exhibition’s Calendar and for postcards.  Nasrin was invited to deliver a talk in SEAS -Socially Engaged Art Salon in May 2018. And some of her prison paintings were displayed in The Other House exhibition from 5th to 27th May 2018.


She puts her ear to the dam
as if listening for Morse code
but she’s trying to hear
the sounds of the waves
hitting the thick walls.
She murmurs to them
willing them to hit harder.
She believes that
one day the raging water
will break the hard wall
of her cell.


We were wrong
to think that the earth
covers the dead.
So many corpses
never reach the earth
they’re washed over and over
with cold salt water
till there is nothing left of them
but bones.

© Nasrin Parvaz