SHAHRAM SHIVA

Topics Include:
> About Shahram Shiva
> Bibliography
> What inspired Shiva to translate Rumi?
> Reviews
> Quotes

> Radio and Television Interviews

> Awards and Grants
> Performances and Workshops
> Theater and Film
> Cable-TV Programs
> The Internet

Shahram Shiva is a performance poet, award-winning translator and scholar of Rumi, teacher of advanced spirituality, author of several books and a recording artist. He is known for rich and entrancing concerts and performances and captivating talks and lectures.

Shahram Shiva was born in Rumi's province in Persia to a family of Jewish heritage and migrated to the US in his mid teens. In Shiva's events original songs and Rumi poems are performed in unique and passionate style with various musical groups.

Since 2009 Shahram Shiva has expanded his repertoire to include new original lyrics and songs. In addition to performances, he conducts talks and lectures on the future of spirituality, consciousness expansion and freeing the mind from the bondage of dogma and other methods of control. He has been called a "prophet of change and transformation."

Starting as a young prodigy in 1988, Shiva has translated nearly a thousand Rumi poems collected in 4 books. Shiva's access to the original of these exquisite poems forms the basis for his memorable performances and supports his reputation as the most informed and passionate performer and interpreter of Rumi in the world today.

Shiva's translations of original Rumi poems have also been utilized by Western Rumi interpreters and have appeared in over 50 publications and many recordings.

Since 1992 Shahram Shiva has been presenting concerts at the United Nations, Symphony Space, Smithsonian Institution, CAMI Hall, Memorial Hall, Chopra Center, Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Omega Institute, Kripalu Center, Joyce Theater, LaMama Theater, New York Open Center, Yale, Columbia, New York universities, among others.

In addition Shiva has devised a new, breakthrough method in teaching the whirling movement, where he has been conducting large-scale workshops since 1995. This method, featured on CNN, is now being taught by a few of Shiva's whirling students, including Deepak Chopra. Also look for Robert Downey Jr., who was trained by Shiva, whirling in the movie Game 6 (2005).

Additional Personal Information:
Shiva spent many years deeply involved in his spiritual growth. In his 20's he was a serious practitioner of yoga, meditation, whirling, Sanskrit/Persian prayers and nonviolent living.

However, his views of personal growth have vastly evolved over the years. He no longer endorses the old belief that "to grow spiritually one must give up all." Your diet or choice of beverage has little to do with being a whole, fulfilled human.

Your aim should be to free yourself from a dogmatic, fear-based life. And dogmatic lifestyles can be found especially in spiritual communities, where they try to dictate your thoughts and actions.

He now believes in a balanced living and does not consider any form of extremism a healthy choice for life.

He believes that self-acceptance, self-reliance, loving oneself and freedom from hypocrisy are the keys to a fulfilled life.

About Shahram Shiva on Answers.com:
The words of early-13th century Persian mystic and poet Rumi come to life through the performances of poet, actor, and author Shahram Shiva. The only major performer to present Rumi's poetry in both English translations and the original Persian, Shiva was described by avant-garde composer Philip Glass as a "wealth of new and quite beautiful translations," and composer and performer Robert Arthur Fish's debut album, Fish on the Desert, included the line "Shahram speaks with the fervor of ancient Sufi master Rumi." A longtime devotee of Eastern mystical traditions, Shiva began translating Rumi's poetry in 1988 and presented his first public performance four years later. From April 25 to May 5, 1998, Shiva's opera Until the Next Whirl was presented at La Mama in New York, with Shiva in the lead role. Shiva is the author of three books: Rumi, Thief of Sleep: Quatrains from the Persian, Hush Don't Say Anything to God: Passionate Poems of Rumi, and Reading the Veil: The Literal and Poetic Translations of Rumi. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi

Trivial Facts:
Shahram Shiva is of Persian Jewish heritage. His direct ancestors migrated from Jerusalem to Persia 2,700 years ago.

He is a professional photographer with numerous images in print.

He is an expert level, life-long motorcyclist.

He has coined the following phrases: "Rumi Blues" in the 1990's; "The Beloved is You"; "Performance Poet"; "Universal Spiritual Hierarchy"; the "Yoga Generation" referring to the new mainstream popularity of yoga in the US and "The Future of Spirituality" as a topic for his talks and lectures.

He is a 9/11 survivor. During that time he lived in lower Manhattan only one block from the fallen twin towers. He was evacuated for a week and lost many of his belongings due to damage by the dust clouds.

He is a serious film buff and is knowledgeable about classic movies and directors.

He is extremely tech savvy.

He credits the iconic comedians Lenny Bruce and George Carlin as inspiration.

His two biggest musical influences are Miles Davis and Roger Waters.

 

 

 



 


His works include the following:

Love Evolve:

Love Evolve is Shahram Shiva's latest album of transformative songs. It features new original lyrics by Shahram Shiva, in addition to some of his favorite Rumi songs.

Blending elements of rock, dance, groove based, ambient, electronic and acoustic and soaring female vocals with the hypnotic voice of Shahram Shiva, this beautiful and unusual album is an anthem for progressive minds and spirits that yearn to constantly evolve and an empowering experience of love, beauty, freedom, self acceptance, wisdom and joy.

Love Evolve is Produced by the multiple GRAMMY nominee and GRAMMY Award-winner Danny Blume and Shahram Shiva.

For more information, to listen or download or order please visit: loveevolve.com.

Rumi: Lovedrunk:

Rumi: Lovedrunk is a groundbreaking audio project that features several talented musicians from Persia, Europe, Latin America and the U.S., and includes original compositions by Glissant and Harrison. This album blends the exotic and the meditative with hip grooves and inventive arrangements and the deep, resonant and hypnotic voice of Shahram Shiva.


This meticulously composed and produced CD is much more than a “Spoken Word” project and can be listened to both for the beauty and power of Rumi’s words, as well as for the captivating and inspiring mood of the music and poetic images. It is the uncompromising artistic statement of three diverse and committed artists.

For more information, to listen or download or order please visit: lovedrunk.com.

Rumi, Thief of Sleep:
Quatrains from the Persian

(Hohm Press, 2000)

This paperback with a foreword by Deepak Chopra, contains selcetions of the best of the English translations that appeared in Shiva's award-wining book Rending the Veil.

Hush Don't Say Anything to God:
Passionate Poems of Rumi

(Jain Publishing, 1999)

A book of lyrical interpretations of Rumi. This selection catches Rumi in a rare mood and these are some of Rumi's most passionate and heart-felt expressions, each poem resonating with the intensity and fire rarely seen in English language before.

Rending the Veil:
Literal and Poetic Translations of Rumi

(Hohm Press, 1995)

Rending the Veil is the recipient of the "Benjamin Franklin Award" for best book in the religion category by the American Booksellers Association. It is groundbreaking translation that traverses the world by which Rumi is brought into English -- from calligraphic Persian, to phonetic Persian, to literal English translations, to his own finely-wrought poems.


A Garden Beyond Paradise:
The Mystical Poetry of Rumi

(Bantam Books, 1992)

Containing Rumi's odes and quatrains has been called the most beautiful translation of Rumi's poetry to date. This book has been translated into German. Several of the poems from this book have appeared in The Way of Passion, a book by Andrew Harvey. This book is currently being prepared for a re-release in 2001.


What Inspired Shahram Shiva to Translate Rumi?

I rediscovered Rumi when I was in my mid-twenties in New York City. In Persia we learn of our great poets in grade school. So I knew of Rumi and had memorized a poem or two when I was in third grade. I moved to the States at 16, so it was several years after I moved here that I came across Rumi again and the connection was electric. I was listening to a Persian classical singer, signing Rumi and for the first time I felt an immediate connection to this poetry, I felt that I could hear every word, understand the meaning, the message and the mood behind every word. Looking back now, it was one of the most unique and powerful experiences of my life. I began translating Rumi a few days later, just for myself, because I felt I had to. I brought the words of Rumi into English initially just for myself. But within a short couple of years, I was published.

You see, Persian poetry has been the backbone of the Persian culture for the past 1000 years or so. All lyrics for Persian classical music is based on our great poets and Rumi happens to be one of many. He is considered to be the most mystical, and at the same time perhaps the most intellectual as well, hence he is hardly ever tapped for classical music lyrics. Up until 1980, Persian classical singers hardly ever sung Rumi. However, master singer Shahram Nazeri, changed all that. He introduced Rumi in the 1980s into classical/folk music of Persia and it was one of his Rumi recordings in 1988 that inspired me to work with Rumi.

I have had many dreams related to Rumi, and I wrote about them in my book Hush, Don't Say Anything to God. I remember the night before my very first recitation of Rumi in public, I had a dream that I was present in a shrine of a saint. It was a very vivid dream. I could see everything in that shrine, the color of the walls, the murals hanging on the walls and the green cloth covering the tomb. It was about a year later that I came across a picture of Sham's mausoleum, and everything immediately looked familiar. I understood then, that I was visiting Sham's shrine before my first recitation in 1991-1992. From then on every important step that I have taken to help expand the understanding and the experience of Rumi in the West, has been followed by an important acknowledgment from Rumi. --Shahram Shiva

Reviews

I have been an avid reader of Rumi for years--his poetry has changed my life. I once thought that Coleman Barks did the only good translations, until I heard you at a Rumi Festival at UNC, Chapel Hill, 4/5 years ago. Two of your poems knocked me out--it was not only your translations but your inflection and cadence in your readings which do not come across in print. They were "You Worry Too Much" & "Lover Me." I read "You Worry Too Much" at least weekly which gives me great faith! I've been waiting years for your CD. Thank you!
Martin "Yusuf" Pioggia
North Carolina

"For the growing number of Rumi admirers, the appearance of Rending the Veil is an important and unique event, providing, as it does, not only a wealth of new and quite beautiful translations but real insight into how the translator goes about his work."
Philip Glass, composer

"The key to Rumi's quatrains, so faithfully rendered here, is to be found in his own words referring to this meeting that powerful and mysterious dervish, Shems Tabrizi. These words embody the very gist of Sufi philosophy."
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, spiritual leader

"Tune your ear to Shahram Shiva's studious translations. Books like this may carry us into a wiser, less avaricious, and hopefully more compassionate 21st century."
Andrew Shelling, poet and translator, chair of Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied poetics at the Naropa Institute.

"Rumi's poetry is a direct line to the absolute. This is high-voltage material. Read with care."
Larry Dossey, MD, author of Recovering the Soul and Meaning & Medicine

"Shahram speaks with the fervor of ancient Sufi master Rumi."
R.A. Fish, composer and percussionist, quoted from his latest CD Fish on the Desert

"Listening to Shahram perform Rumi's poetry, I was transported to the world of Rumi."
Michael Harrison, composer and pianist

"Shahram Shiva embodies the culture, the wisdom and the history of Sufism in his very genes"
Deepak Chopra (2000)
author of several NY Times Bestsellers

"...These verses are not just meant for the libraries or the classrooms of academia. They are meant to be recited by human lovers and lovers of God. The passion of Rumi expressed in this book by Shahram Shiva will restore the exultation of spirit in your Being. This passion is holy and it will heal you..."
Deepak Chopra (1999)
author of How to Know God and several NY Times Bestsellers

"Rumi's poetry is ecstatic. Here, love of God, love of life and human love all merge into one passionate stream. These verses in A Garden Beyond Paradise have evoked my emotions and haunted my soul as nothing has for years."
Deepak Chopra (1992)
M.D., author of numerous best selling books including Quantum Healing

>> read more reviews...

Quotes
see all plates

Listen to 2 Interviews with Shahram Shiva
on Universal Energy Radio with Host Anna Banguilan

...

Radio, Web & Television Interviews

Actors Entertainment Talk Show, August 21, 2014

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, August 7, 2014

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, May 13, 2014

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, November 14, 2013

Universal Energy Radio, October 9, 2013

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, July 11, 2013

Universal Energy Radio, June 19, 2013

Universal Energy Radio, February 27, 2013

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, February 21, 2013

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, September 27, 2012

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, May 31, 2012

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, February 23, 2012

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, November 10, 2011

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, August 4, 2011

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, May 12, 2011

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, February 17, 2011

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, December 9, 2010

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, October 14, 2010

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, December 3, 2009

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, October 8, 2009

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, April 2, 2009

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, January 22, 2009

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, August 7, 2008

RockOm.net interview and featured artist, July 22-28, 2008

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, June 5, 2008

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, March 6, 2008

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, December 27, 2007

BBC World Service, Global, December 2, 2007

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, November 15, 2007

BBC, Turkey, October 5-7, 2007

WNYC-FM (NPR), New York City, February 27, 2007

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, January 11, 2007

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, August 3, 2006

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, September 8, 2005

WNYC-FM (NPR), New York City, June 9, 2005

WBAI-FM, New York City, May 11, 2004

XETV-TV, "FOX 6 News in the Morning," San Diego, California, June 22, 2001

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, April 6, 2000

KKUP-FM, Northern California, September 26, 1999

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, July 16, 1999

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, May 8, 1999

WRPI-FM, Albany, New York, October 12, 1998

WBAI-FM, New York City, August 28, 1998

WBAI-FM, New York City, November 1, 1997

WAMC-FM, Albany, New York, August 21, 1997

WBAI-FM, New York City, April 26, 1997

WNYC-FM, New York City, December 2, 1996 (New Sounds)

WNYC-FM, New York City, August 1, 1995

WTAB-AM, New York City, July 7, 1995

WBAI-FM, New York City, May 2, 1995

 

Awards & Grants

Benjamin Franklin Award (1996)
American Booksellers Association, Best Book in Religion Category
by Independent Publishers for
Shahram Shiva's
"Rending the Veil: Literal and Poetic Translations of Rumi"
(1995, HOHM Press).

Merchant & Ivory Foundation (Grant, 1994)
by Merchant Ivory Productions
for Shahram Shiva's
"Rending the Veil: Literal and Poetic Translations of Rumi"
(1995, HOHM Press).

 

Performances & Workshops

Shahram Shiva began translating Rumi in 1988 and performing Rumi in 1992. The following is a sampling of some of the more memorable venues.

Since 1992, Highlights Only

Kripalu Center for Yoga, MA

Memorial Hall, NC

Valparaiso University, IN

St. Lawrence University, NY

United Nations, NY

Museum of Contemporary Arts, San Diego, CA

Chopra Center for Well Being, La Jolla, CA

Omega Institute's Conference in New York City

St. Peter's Church, New York City

Deepak Chopra's Millennium Event, Palm Springs, CA

Second Annual Rumi Festival in Chapel Hill, NC

Wainwright House, Rye, New York

Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina

CAMI Hall, New York City

Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City

Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY, over 10 performances

Symphony Space, New York City

Exoterica Poetry Society, Riverdale, New York, 10 performances

Freer Gallery Auditorium, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

Sufi Books, New York City, over 15 performances

Poetry Project, St.Marks Church, New York City, 2 performances

The Abode of the Message, New Lebanon, New York, 12 performances

New York Open Center, New York City, over 20 performances

New York University, New York City

Columbia University, New York City

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

 

Theater & Film
(credits include Rumi related productions only)

8 Stones
Indie Feature, New York, 2007
Shiva plays a poet, limo driver who quotes Rumi.
It's a 10-min scene in this feature lenghth movie
that he helped develop and write.

Game 6
Indie Feature, New York, 2006
Robert Downey Jr. (coached by Shahram Shiva)
whirls in the movie "Game 6." This movie which also
stars Michael Keaton and Catherine O'Hara,
is produced by Amy Robinson, directed by Mike Hoffman
with a script written by Don Delillo.

Until the Next Whirl
LaMama, New York City, April 25-May 5, 1996.
An opera based on Shahram Shiva's translations,
in which he played Rumi.

Moon Over Babylon
Short Film (15 min), J2W
Written, Produced & lead character by Shahram Shiva.
A film inspired by a poem of Rumi.

 

Cable-TV Programs

New York City

Shahram Shiva Performs Rumi, Weekly Video Series
Time Warner Cable, Spring 1996 - 2002

Rumi and the Persian Mystical Tradition, Bi-Weekly Video Series
Time Warner Cable, Spring/Summer 1995

Video Special, Channels 16 & 34
Time Warner Cable, 1993-94

 

The Internet

www.Rumi.net
The Rumi Network established in the Fall of 1998

to celebrate Rumi and Shahram Shiva's long time association with the poet.
Rumi.net is one of the most popular websites on Rumi.

www.ShahramShiva.com
Shahram Shiva main hub.

www.Lovedrunk.com
Established in 2003
to celebrate Shahram Shiva's CD, Rumi: Lovedrunk.

www.LoveEvolve.com
Established in 2011
to celebrate Shahram Shiva's CD, Love Evolve.

Facebook.com/ShahramShiva1
Face artist page set up in 2009.

Twitter.com/ShahramShiva
Twitter feed set up in 2009.

 

© Copyright Shahram Shiva, All rights reserved.
ShahramShiva.com, Lovedrunk.com, LoveEvolve.com