The sensual, musical poetry of Hafez is regarded by most critics and scholars as the pinnacle of Persian literature. The mystic poet’s celebrated work has made him virtually ubiquitous in Iran and hugely influential in the West, leaving a lasting impression on generations of poets, thinkers, and artists.

To honour the versatile quality of his poetry, we host a bilingual reading, chaired by Bruce Barnes and featuring Samar Shahdad performing Hafez in the original Persian, and translator Mario Petrucci reading his nuanced and uncompromising English translations. Don’t miss this chance to surround yourself with these lyrical odes to divine love, ecstasy, and freedom from restraint.

About The Host

Bruce Barnes

Bruce Barnes is a graduate of Sheffield Hallam University and a member of Beehive Poets. His play, Branwell in Bradford, was performed at The Priestley Theatre in March 2009 and a reading based on that play-script featured in the Ilkley Literature Festival’s ‘Words in the City’ in June 2015.

About The Speakers

Samar Shahdad

Coming from the city of Shiraz in Iran, Samar is a poetess who seeks her identity not in the geography of her birth but in poetry. A utopia which she believes can only be reached once one starts the journey from within.


Mario Petrucci

Mario Petrucci has held major poetry residencies at the Imperial War Museum and with BBC Radio 3. Winner of the prestigious Daily Telegraph/ Arvon Prize, Petrucci has written award-winning translations of Montale, Catullus and Sappho. ‘Beloved: 81 poems from Hafez’, a remarkable modern extract from the Divan, is published by Bloodaxe.