The Poetry Of Others

Gaby Calvocoressi interviewed Reza Aslan on his new anthology Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East:

You need the artsliterature, music, filmas a universal language that allows people to see beyond the walls that separate us. To stop thinking of each other as different religions, or different cultures, or different ethnicities, or nationalities, and start thinking of each other as human beings. As people with the same aspirations, and the same dreams, the same conflicts and the same issues. It’s only through that recognition of same-ness that you really do change people’s minds. ...

[H]ere is this guy trying to be a poet in Iran and that from thousands and thousands of miles away I was able to read these poems [on the Internet] and pull them out and put them in a book and now thousands of other people are going to be reading it and it’s getting back to him now and he’s thinking “Is there some way I can use this to come to America and share more of my poems,” etc. That’s what we mean by borderless.