Feb 13 2024


6:30 pm


Free to attend

Reading and Conversation: Kaveh Akbar with Nina Ghanbarzadeh *IN PERSON at BOSWELL*

Join our friends at Boswell Book Company (2559 N Downer Ave, Milwaukee) for an evening with Kaveh Akbar, author of Martyr!, in conversation with artist Nina Ghanbarzadeh. Hosted by Boswell Book Company and HOME at the Lynden Sculpture Garden.

Register to attend through Boswell's Eventbrite.


Cyrus Shams is a young man grappling with an inheritance of violence and loss: his mother’s plane was shot down over the skies of the Persian Gulf in a senseless accident; and his father’s life in America was circumscribed by his work killing chickens at a factory farm in the Midwest.

Cyrus is a drunk, an addict, and a poet, whose obsession with martyrs leads him to examine the mysteries of his past—toward an uncle who rode through Iranian battlefields dressed as the angel of death to inspire and comfort the dying, and toward his mother, through a painting discovered in a Brooklyn art gallery that suggests she may not have been who or what she seemed. Kaveh Akbar’s Martyr! is a paean to how we spend our lives seeking meaning—in faith, art, ourselves, others.

From Tommy Orange: “An absolute jewel of a novel. A diamond. I haven’t loved a book this much in years. Kaveh’s writing is so thoroughly powerful and gorgeous you can feel it from where dreams come, and in all over your brain, and straight from the bottom of your heart. This book does everything. It is so entirely funny and sad and true and beautiful. Kaveh Akbar is one of my favorite writers. Ever.”

Kaveh Akbar’s poems appear in The New Yorker, The New York TimesThe Paris Review, and elsewhere. He is the author of two poetry collections: Pilgrim Bell and Calling a Wolf a Wolf, in addition to a chapbook, Portrait of the Alcoholic. He is also the editor of The Penguin Book of Spiritual Verse: 110 Poets on the Divine.

Click here to order your copy of Martyr! from Boswell. Signed copies and personalization available on pre-orders. Please note that signed copies will not be shipped until after the event.

Nina Ghanbarzadeh is a Wisconsin visual artist and an entrepreneur taking a universal approach to written language in her art. She emigrated from Tehran, Iran in 2001. Nina earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting, drawing and graphic design from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 2013 and completed a two-year Artist in Residency Program with Redline Milwaukee in 2015. In addition to participating in several group shows, Nina is the the winner of best in show in Wisconsin Biennial 2020. She received the Mary L. Nohl Suitcase Export Fund, Student Silver ADDY and Fredric R. Layton Foundations Scholarship awards.

Most recently, Nina launched ARTKee Educational Toys LLC, which produces SOFTwords, kits of basic shapes that allow children to explore the shapes as images as well as text. Nina draws inspiration for her educational toy business and her art from cultural differences and the limitations of language. She finds beauty in the abstract marks that make up the symbols for language and explores the possibility of peace, happiness and togetherness through the universal language of art.


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