Born more than 800 years ago, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi-Rumi has been one of the best-selling poets in the U.S. during the last three decades.
“Meet the Poet: Rumi” will take place at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at the UHV Center for the Arts, 204 N. Main St. The event is free and open to the public.
“What does a 13th century religious mystic and poet have to do with our present lives, and why is he still so popular today?” said Charles Alexander, UHV poet and designer in residence. “Those are the types of questions we had in mind when we started the Meet the Writer series.”
The UHV School of Arts & Sciences graduate creative writing program began the series in July with an event that focused on American poet Emily Dickinson. Alexander and Saba Syed Razvi, a UHV assistant professor of English and creative writing, are co-curators of the series.
“The Meet the Writer series allows us a chance to share some of our passions in literature with the community in an informal, celebratory way,” Alexander said. “Each of the artists, poets and writers at UHV has his or her own grand collage of literary history, and our reading lives cross in several places. The series provides open conversation among ourselves and with the public about who inspires us and why.”
Alexander, Razvi, UHV adjunct lecturer Anthony Madrid and Cynthia Miller, UHV artist in residence, each will discuss their understanding of Rumi in presentations that include readings of the poet’s work and comments about that work. The presentations also will include images and music.
A Persian poet and Sufi master, Rumi is considered a saint and teacher to many Sufis, Miller said. Sufism is a branch of Islam that seeks an inner mystical and spiritual truth.
“Rumi is elegant, sure-footed and shows a path to a rich inner life in the world,” Miller said.