Simin Behbahani (Khalili) was born on 20 June 1927 in Tehran, Iran, of literary parents. Her father, Abbas Khalili, writer and newspaper editor, had tens of publications to his credit. Her mother, Fakhr Ozma Arghoon (Fakhr Adel Khalatbari), was a noted feminist, teacher, writer, newspaper editor, and a poet.
Simin Behbahani began writing poetry at the age of fourteen and published her first poem at same age. She used the “Char Pareh” style of Nima, a renowned poet of Persian history, and subsequently, turns to “Ghazal”, a free flowing, and poetry style similar to the Western “Sonnet”. She contributed to a historic development in the form of the “Ghazal”, as she added theatrical subjects, and daily events and conversations into this style of poetry.
The Ghazals of Simin Behbahani are a unique style, which defines her as a one and only, and well distinguished in her style of poetry. Simin Behbahani has expanded the range of traditional Persian verse forms and produced some of the most significant works of Persian literature in the twentieth century.
She was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1997, She was also awarded a Human Rights Watch-Hellman/Hammet grant in 1998, and similarly, in 1999, the Carl von Ossietzky Medal, for her struggle for freedom of expression in Iran.
On August 6th, 2014 Simin Behbahani was hospitalized in Tehran’s Pars Hospital. She was in coma from 6th August until her death on August 19th, 2014. Her funeral took place on August 22 and she was buried at Behest Zahra cemetery in Tehran.
The Broken Lute [Seh-tar-e Shekasteh, 1951]
Footprint [Ja-ye Pa, 1954]
Chandelier [Chelcheragh, 1955]
Marble [Marmar, 1961]
Resurrection [Rastakhiz, 1971]
A Line of Speed and Fire [Khatti ze Sor’at va Atash, 1980]
Arzhan Plain [Dasht-e Arzhan, 1983]
Paper Dress [Kaghazin Jameh, 1992]
A Window of freedom [Yek Daricheh Azadi, 1995]
Collected Poems [Tehran 2003]