Adapted, with permission, from a recent letter by Omid Shams, which first alerted me to this work. Omid Shams is an Iranian poet, translator, and scholar living in Aarhus, Denmark. —Ch.B.
Iranian modern literature, specifically poetry, has always been connected to the revolutionary politics. However, such a connection can be traced mostly in the content and theme rather than the form and language; or, as the opposite of what Bruce Andrews said, it has been the entry of politics into the poetry. Such an approach toward the political poetry created a literary mainstream that turned the main body of literature into a batch of sociopolitical slogans.
Around 1978, Bruce Andrews, Ron Silliman and I started a service to make xerox copies of out of print work available. The catalog began with this introduction:
L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E DISTRIBUTING SERVICE
Even when published, writing we wish to read often goes out of print with dismaying rapidity – closing off a dialogue. Out-of-print and unpublished works may still circulate among a limited circle of friends. Here, we hope to sustain that dialogue, and expand that circle.
Several types of material are available. Photocopies of out-of-print books and unpublished manuscripts are available at the cost of the photocopying and packaging plus a twenty-five cent royalty to the author. These works will be sent side-stapled with card stock covers, stamped by L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E and numbered. In a few cases, a small number of books are available in their original published form at the price specified. All orders must be prepaid and include the cost of postage (see table below).
–– Charles Bernstein, Ron Silliman, & Bruce Andrews