Five poems from prison

On September 7 2011, the police arrested the poet Alireza Roshan, who was accused of being part of a nonconformist minority group named “Gonabadi”. He was convicted on the basis of Article 610 of the Islamic Penal Code: “Incitement and collusion with intent to disrupt national security” and is still incarcerated at the Evin prison. He has written five poems for the Dissident Blog. 

How censorship makes itself absurd?

Iran is the country full of paradoxes. Especially when it comes to censorship of literature. Hossein Shahrabi, publisher, emphasize the lack of a consistent censorship law which means that the regime can do as it pleases. How else can they ban the word dance but not oral sex? In this article, Shahrabi shares his experiences and tricks on the unpredictable and ridiculous censorship in Iran.

“Buying alcoholic beverages takes 17 minutes”

The Islamic Republic does not allow alcohol. In the wake of other social problems, alcohol abuse has increased, even in Iran. Under an ideologically shiny surface, one can find the same social problems as in other parts of the world—and as long as no one can speak of them, they only become worse.

Janus face

President Ahmadinejad states that homosexuality does not exist in Iran and it is a crime according to the country's laws. What is even more rarely discussed is the perception of transsexuals, and how homosexuals are expected to “solve their problem” by changing their sex. In this short story, Ramesh Safavi effectively describes one day in a transsexual prostitute's life.

Modern Persian lyric

Day by day, the censorship in Iran becomes stricter. The young Iranian poet Leili Galehdaran has therefore chosen to send her third collection, Sinior to the Swedish-located publisher Baran. If she had tried to get it printed in Iran, the book had, with necessity, been a totally different kind of poetry collection.

The ICORN-relay: Sedigheh Vasmaghi

In April the Swedish city of Uppsala received a new ICORN writer: the Iranian lawyer and poet Sedigheh Vasmaghi. After the election in 2009, she took part of the protest movement. She published poems and articles where she took a strong stand against all fundamentalism. The harassments and threats towards her increased.


Reza Najafi is an Iranian writer, literary critic and editor, who lives in exile in Germany. He has so far published more than 350 short stories and literary essays. In Nirvana, he is presenting a snapshot of the life of a couple at a crucial point. The story, as a result of dealing with taboo topics such as sex, suicide, drugs and alcohol would never had a chance to be published in Iran.

The ICORN-relay—Sepideh Jodeyri

The ICORN-relay has now left Scandinavia and landed in Italy, where the Iranian poet, translator and journalist Sepideh Jodeyri currently lives. Jodeyri has written three collections of poetry; two have been published, one is banned in Iran. In this edition we publish a newly written poem by her. A poem about leaving your country.


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