About the Author
Coleman Barks was born on April 23, 1937, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He graduated from the University of North Carolina and the University of California at Berkeley. Since 1972 he has taught English at the University of Georgia at Athens. Barks received the New England/Breadloaf Quarterly Narrative Poem Prize and the Southern Poetry Review's Guy Owen Award. His collections of poetry include The Juice and Gourd Seed. Barks is perhaps better known as a translator of the poet Rumi, a thirteenth century Mystic. Rumi is cpnsidered the greatest mystic of the Sufi religion and wrote extensively in Farsi, the language of Iran.
A translator of Rumi, Hafiz, and Lalla brings their words to life in an electric performance at a small club. The room is filled with awe for these thirteen- and fourteenth-century poets as the breathy, in-your-face narrator, Coleman Barks, holds his audience's attention in a death grip for the entire 74 minutes. The accompanying exotic music is as rough and interesting as the author's blue-collar voice--music so erotic and intrusive that for most listeners it will be either a fascinating listening focus or a huge distraction. The editor's sparse introductions are marvelously unpretentious. He seems to respect the listener's openness to the poems, rather than trying too hard to orchestrate how they are comprehended. T.W. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine