SAID (1947-2021), an Iranian-German poet, essayist, memoirist, and writer of children’s books and short fiction, moved to Germany from Tehran as a student in 1965, returning to Iran only briefly after the Shah’s ouster in 1979.  He soon determined it was still unsafe for him to remain there, and returned to Munich, residing there until his death last year.

SAID received numerous literary awards, including the Goethe Medal in 2006.  He was president of the German chapter of PEN International for several years, working to support other writers in their efforts towards freedom of expression.

Of late his writing, both politically engaged and carefully crafted, used only lower-case letters in the German language, although his pseudonym—which he had adopted out of concern for his personal safety— remains entirely in upper case lettering as a sign of his autonomy as a writer.

His most recent book, ein vibrierendes kind: erinnerungen an eine persische kindheit (a vibrating child: memories of a persian childhood), appeared posthumously with C.H. Beck in March 2022.  (2022)

Winter 2022 (Issue 17), For Anna Akhmatova