PEN expresses sympathy for Shamlou's death
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2000
On behalf of the 2,700 writers who are members of PEN American Center,
we wish to express our deepest condolence at the death of our esteemed
colleague, Ahmad Shamlou, who passed away on the evening of July 23 in
his native Iran.
For more than half a century, Shamlou's unique poetry celebrated humanity,
freedom and beauty, enchanting all who encountered his work. Enthralled
with culture and language, and the mythic roots of both, his work was the
fruit of far-reaching travels in the world of words.
"Standing on the equator," with the world and humanity on
the horizon, he was always restless and curious. From a young age, Shamlou
struggled internally to construct a fortress against decadence, injustice,
fear and ugliness. Through his poetry, he cried out in anguish at the
dashed hopes of his times, yet "never abandoned his faith in humanity."
Shamlou was privileged to experience extraordinary literary acclaim; he
died knowing the magic of his words would surpass his lifetime.
Shamlou's death marks a great loss for the Iranian literary community
and the international world of letters. May Ahmad Shamlou's poetic legacy
grant comfort to those who mourn him today, and inspiration to those who
will read his work for generations to come.
Chair, PEN Freedom-to-Write Committee
Director, PEN Freedom-to-Write Program