Poet Anis Mojgani to Speak at Vanderbilt This Friday, Oct. 19



Anis Mojgani
  • Anis Mojgani
Let's not bury the lede here: Poet Anis Mojgani is coming to Vanderbilt on Friday, and if you have even the slightest curiosity about performance poetry, you should be there.

A few months ago, I sang the praises of Mojgani in the Summer installment of our infrequent “What We're Reading” round-up. At the time, I was submerged in every poetry book I owned in an ultimately failed attempt to find a poem to read at a wedding — the choice was made for me, thankfully, and it was a Bob Dylan song — but it was Mojgani's first collection of poetry, Over the Anvil We Stretch, that I kept returning to. You may remember that I called his work “warm and emotional without being Garrison Keillor schmaltzy.” (In your face, Keillor!)

But, as good as he is on the page, it's in performance that Mojgani's words turn into something truly fantastic to behold. He's a back-to-back National Poetry Slam champion, a Pushcart Prize nominee and an International World Cup Poetry Slam winner. Which is a long way of saying he knows what he's doing and he does it well. Mojgani's style is tinged with magical realism and a sense of the world that is steeped in both Bahá'í spirituality and hip-hop.

Mojgani performs at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Vanderbilt's Commons Center, after which he'll probably sign anything you put in front of him. The show is free and open to all comers. Peep some of his poetry in videos after the jump.

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