On Sunday, August 11th, local writer (and our fearless leader here at Voices) Dr. Mo Saidi, was one of five writers asked to present excerpts of their work as part of the “Writers Among Us” event at the Chautauqua Writers’ Center, in Chautauqua Lake, New York. Saidi read from his books, as well as the July 15 issue of Voices de la Luna. Along with presentations of their work, each of the featured writers participating in the event gave a small Question-and-Answer session as well as an opportunity for book signing.
A short Biography of Dr. Saidi appeared in The Chautauquan Daily, August 10th. Kelsey Burritt writes:
Mo Saidi was a physician for most of his life. Working as a gynecologic oncologist, he wrote a number of medical articles and an OB-GYN handbook. Rereading the work of his childhood favorite Victor Hugo at age 57 convinced Saidi to retire and devote the rest of his years to writing.
Saidi returned to school to pursue a master’s degree in English and American literature from Harvard University, from where he graduated in 2007. That same year, Saidi won the Edwin M. Eakin Memorial Book Publication Award for his first book of poetry, Art in the City.
Since then, Saidi has published another book of poetry and, most recently, a book of short stories, The Garden of Milk and Wine. The title, Saidi said, was inspired by a verse from the Quran that his mother used to recite to him so frequently that it had “embedded into [his] mind.”
Saidi was born into a strict Muslim family in Iran and moved to the United States to become a doctor. The 20 stories included in The Garden of Milk and Wine, Saidi said, deal in part with the transition from his life in Iran to the “renaissance” he experienced moving to the United States and starting his career.