Jalal-Uddin Rumi
Jalal-Uddin Rumi (1207-1273) is widely regarded as the greatest of Persia's mystical poets. He was born near Balkh in Afghanistan but subsequently moved through Iran, Iraq, and Syria to Konya in Turkey where he and his family found refuge from the invading Mongols. There he acquired a reputation as a pious and profound scholar and teacher, but his life was turned upside down by a meeting with a wandering dervish, Shams-e Tabrizi, who challenged many of his ideas and practices. His relationship with, and ultimate separation from, Shams found expression in the thousands of lyrical and mystical ghazals in the Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi, a selection of which have been translated by Geoffrey Squires in RUMI: POEMS FROM THE DIVAN-E SHAMS (Miami University Press, 2020). He is best known for his didactic, mystical masterpiece, The Masnavi, and his teachings live on in Turkey through the Mevlevi mystical order and more widely through other Sufi organizations and his works both in Persian and in translation.

Geoffrey Squires is an Irish poet who was educated at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh. After living and working in various countries, including three years in Iran, he settled in England and is now retired and living in Yorkshire. His poetry has been collected in Untitled and Other Poems (2004) and Abstract Lyrics and Other Poems (2012), both published by Wild Honey Press in Ireland. Five volumes of his poetry have recently been published in bilingual editions by Editions Unes in France. His books of translations include RUMI: POEMS FROM THE DIVAN-E SHAMS (Miami University Press, 2020) and HAFEZ: TRANSLATIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS OF THE GHAZALS (Miami University Press, 2014), the latter of which was awarded the 2014 Lois Roth annual translation prize of the American Institute of Iranian Studies. He has also published translations of early Irish poetry from 600-1200 in My News for You (Shearsman Books, 2015).