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Dick Davis

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  • Dick Davis was born in Portsmouth, England, in 1945, and educated at the universities of Cambridge (B.A. and M.A. in English Literature) and Manchester (Ph.D. in Medieval Persian Literature). He lived in Iran for eight years from 1970 to 1978, and also for some time in both Italy and Greece. He was Professor of Persian and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Ohio State University from 2002 until 2012. As well as academic works, he has produced more than twenty books as author, translator or editor; these include translations from Italian and Persian, and a number of books of his own poetry. He is generally recognized as the finest living translator of Persian literature: his translations include Attar’s The Conference of the Birds (with Afkham Darbandi), a collection of medieval epigrams (Borrowed Ware), Pezeshkzad’s novel My Uncle Napoleon, Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, Gorgani’s Vis and Ramin, and most recently, Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz.

    Dick Davis has also contributed an appreciation of Matthew Mead’s poetry to The Autumn-Born in Autumn.

    '...throughout Love in Another Language, a strange perfusion of elements is at work, at once familiar and exotic; there are bizarre depths, weird echoes, beneath the seemingly traditional and seemingly quite "English surfaces of the poems... Dick Davis's collected poems of over forty-three years constitute what the great Persian poet Nizami called a "makhzan-i-asrar", a treasure-house of mysteries and perfected marvels.'

    Eric Ormsby, the TLS

    'It is marvelous to find a poet whose poetry lives through its metre. His handling of it is masterful, and you are never aware of the effort. And the language is exact but relentless, like the perceptions . . . Davis is one of the best poets around.'
    Thom Gunn
    Awards won by Dick Davis Winner, 1981 Royal Society of Literature Award (Seeing the World)
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