At Large

The word on the street


Praise for ‘Elsewhere’
I first met Joobin Bekhrad through an article he was writing about Marc Bolan for the New York Times. It’s very apt that it was Marc who brought us together, because Joobin’s poetry has a wonderfully Bolan-esque feel to it. He has a beautiful way with words that creates a whimsical world always on the verge of reality, rudely gate-crashing the party. In his poems, East and West intersect in fascinating chaotic and unpredictable ways — leather trousers and minarets collide. Joobin truly is a dream-weaver, and his words are the thread.
Alan Edwards, founder of The Outside Organisation and PR Week Hall of Fame member
Praise for ‘With My Head in the Clouds and Stars in My Eyes’
I so enjoyed ‘With My Head in the Clouds and Stars in My Eyes’, finding a sense of warmth and familiarity with places I’d never known through your disarmingly affective prose.
Juan Cruz, Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at London’s Royal College of Art
A uniquely personal take on a wonderful assortment of stories revolving around Iranian culture.
Georgina Godwin, Books Editor, Monocle
In a deeply personal encounter with his native Iran, Bekhrad supplants stereotypes with poignant glimpses into the country’s complex and magnificent history.
Deeyah Khan
He may have left the table, but you’ve captured Abbas and his life’s work well. Thank you.
Ahmad Kiarostami
If you are looking for someone working hard to understand his cultural background and share it with the rest of the world, it’s Joobin Bekhrad. When I saw him in my studio in Tehran a few years ago, I could not believe my eyes. He had come to see my work and talk to me, despite unpredictable inconveniences. That is not all; his translation of the ‘Robaiyat’ of Omar Khayyam shows his sensitivity in our times.
Parviz Tanavoli
Praise for ‘Lovers of Light’
A work of distinctive cadence and rhythm threaded with classical imagery and redolent of ancient Iran.
William Gourlay, Monash University
Such elegant writing: finely balanced, it touches the soul. It does not only play with emotions, but also images of what is, and what can be. This is life, this is love – this is the breeze of time.
Emine Gozde Sevim, acclaimed multidisciplinary artist
Praise for ‘Coming Down Again’
‘Coming Down Again’ offers a rich, rewarding immersion in the strangely familiar; its Bowie fan protagonist, Asha, cherishes his idea of London’s glam scene even while he struts and dreams in the streets of Tehran, amid that city’s very different sights, sounds, and scents. A wonderful portrait of teen abandon and ambition, and a fascinating counterpart to two of Bowie’s favourite books, ‘The Buddha of Suburbia’ and ‘Absolute Beginners’.
Will Brooker, author of Forever Stardust: David Bowie Across the Universe
Joobin Bekhrad’s ‘Coming Down Again’ is packed with the faded ennui, delicious dalliances, and aching moments of invincibility that define a Iranian teenager’s coming of age. A brilliant novella by a clear, conscious voice in the style of excellent exile literature; evocative, crisp, and sumptuous, and abounding with poetic realism.
Tina Gharavi
Playing ‘Ziggy Stardust’ in Iran: a magical rock and roll riff on growing up in Tehran.
Tom Holland, author of Persian Fire
A lyrical, rock ’n’ roll, Hafezian feat of zen and now.
Andrew Loog Oldham
Cool, but not hipster, Tehran: disaffected youth yearning for nothing more than their counterparts in the West do: sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Joobin Bekhrad’s ‘Coming Down Again’ is a wonderful journey there.
Hooman Majd
Bekhrad takes you right back to that sweet spot of your teenage years where you are full of dreams and feel like anything is possible — and that no one understands you. Then, he makes you want to do Bowie impressions in the mirror all night.
Sarah Maple, acclaimed multidisciplinary artist
Bekhrad is a master at exploring the difficulty teenagers have with making such life-changing choices.
Morning Star
Compelling counterpoints! A Bowie-obsessed teenager growing up in Ahmadinejad’s Tehran. Fascinating.
Simon Napier-Bell
‘Coming Down Again’ is a wonderfully written book. I enjoyed every exuberant word of it.
Roald Nasgaard, award-winning author and curator, Officer of the Order of Canada, and Professor Emeritus of Art History at Florida State University
Praise for ‘The Quatrains of Omar Khayyam’
Bekhrad has succeeded in capturing the essence of Khayyam’s ‘Robaiyat’ … His rendition offers both clarity and fidelity to the meaning, rhythm, and tones of the original Persian poems.
Soheil Parsa, award-winning director
Joobin’s translation of the ‘Robaiyat’ of Omar Khayyam shows his sensitivity in our times.
Parviz Tanavoli


Joobin’s industriousness, application, and determination to bring everything for which he assumes responsibility to a successful end leave nothing to be desired.
Ehsan Yarshater (1920 – 2018), Hagop Kevorkian Professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies at Columbia University and founder of the Encyclopaedia Iranica

Your articles are brilliant and so well-researched.
Barbara Hulanicki

Quite stunning and beautifully designed.
Atom Egoyan on Pin-Ups, REORIENT‘s first printed issue

One of the best features we ever ran back in the day.
Former Harper’s Bazaar Art Editor-in-Chief Arsalan Mohammad on Cold Turkey, a piece I wrote for the magazine’s Spring 2015 edition