Project hopes to publish censored Iranian poet’s work about forbidden gay love

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A Kickstarter project has been started with the hopes of outsmarting censors in Iran by having a poet’s work, banned in the country, published in the UK.

Payam Feili is a gay writer and poet whose works are condemned in Iran due to his sexual orientation. He says he has been blacklisted by censors in Iran, which means that no matter what he writes, he cannot publish anything.

The video, created with Feili’s words outside the British Library, notes that translators working with the poet have also been encouraged to stop working with him.

Payam Feili was born in 1985 in Kermanshah, a city in western Iran. His first book, The Sun’s Platform, was published in Iran when he was nineteen. The book was heavily censored by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. Subsequent works never emerged from the ministry with a seal of approval.

The page seeks £7,000 in donations in order to translate the writer’s book White Fields, into English, and to publish it.

It will be published by Nogaam, which is an online publisher that freely distributes the work of censored Iranian authors. Nogaam seeks to further the development of Persian-language literature, provide support to Iranian and Farsi-speaking authors, and facilitate the global distribution of contemporary Persian literature.

The project’s Kickstarter page includes more information and pledges can be made here. Those backing the project will receive copies of the book, T-shirts, USBs, posters and bookmarks. Those who pledge over a certain amount will be personally thanked in the book.