David L. "Quasar" Martin

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"Q.R. Quasar" is the pen name of David L. Martin: a poet, scholar, and translator of Arabic and Persian poetry and philosophy. The name indicates a living black hole with light streaming from it. He earned a Ph.D. degree from UCLA in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures with a concentration in Sufism (Islamic mysticism). He has lived in Japan, Myanmar (Burma), India, France, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. He has worked as an editor, professor, and airport planner in various countries.

He has published five poetry collections: “I, Universe:” The Great Time-Heart Speaks and The Archangel of Radiance (both via Global Scholarly Publications [GSP]: www.gsp-online.org, New York, 2010), Ocean of Suns and Light First, Light Last (GSP, New York, 2011: a double book of poems), Buddha Time (GSP, New York, 2012), and Watching the Universe Die and The Universe in Bloom (GSP, New York, 2013: another double book of poems). In addition he has translated two full-length books of Persian poetry into English: The Expanse of Green by Sohrab Sepehry (UNESCO/- Kalimat in the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works, Persian Series; awarded a Columbia University Translation Prize [Van de Bovenkamp-Armand G. Erpf Award, 1985]) and A Rebirth, by Forough Farrokhzad (Mazda, 1997: www.mazdapub.com), the masterpiece of the premier feminist poet of Iran. (The translations were published under the names of David L. Martin and David Martin, respectively.) The former contains Water's Footsteps, a separate book by Sepehry, as an appendix. The latter includes—also as an appendix--"Let's Bring Faith to the Onset of the Cold Season," Farrokhzad's great and mysterious elegy, the title poem of her last, and unfinished, book. Q.R. Quasar (as David Martin) was awarded “The Outstanding International Scholar of the Year Award" (1997-98) for his translations of poetry from Persian. He has published various articles and made numerous presentations on Middle Eastern Poetry and Philosophy (as David L. Martin).

Prospective books by Q.R. Quasar are Void (poems) and The Archangel Commands Your Rapture (stories). Other works nearing completion are Angel in the Divine Zone (poems: a sequel to the Persian poet 'Attar's Conference of the Birds [Mantiq al-tayr]), and Huitzilopochtli: The Aztec Book of Light (poems). He is preparing a translation of Watching the Universe Die and The Universe in Bloom into Russian in collaboration with Alexei Vyazmin of St. Petersburg, a Russian poet and philosopher.

Q.R. Quasar directed, and was principal writer/composer for, Shiva Poetry Theater (SPT) which won First Prize in the Open Reading Competition of the Chicago Poetry Festival (1972). SPT'S poems are composed for two, three, and four voices. He has read his own poetry, as well as Persian poetry and his English translations thereof, on international Persian Language television (Rangarang) for broadcast in North America, Europe, and Asia. He has read poetry on tour in Beijing and Shanghai, China (2011), and St. Petersburg, Russia (2012). He has read his own poetry as well as his translations in various cities across the United States, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York. His poems and translations have appeared in various poetry publications, including Poetry and Hawaii Review (under the name, David Martin).

One of his works in progress is a series of translations from classical Persian Poetry on the search for the "water of life" by Alexander the Great and the prophets Khizr and Elijah (among others) as related by the poets Firdausi and Nizami, and the Sufi, Suhrawardi al-Maqtul. The work is entitled, The Search for the Water of Life in the Land of Darkness. It is arguably a further development of the myth of Gilgamesh. Other works in progress are translations and studies of the mystical poetry of the classical Persian poet 'Attar of Nayshabur (Nishapur).

Q.R. Quasar's translation from Persian of the Ruba'iyat of the late Persian poet Ghogha Khal'atbari is in the final stages of preparation.

Finally, a work envisioned, but still in an embryonic stage, is an historical novel covering the lives and times of Nezahualcoyotl (“Hungry Coyote”) and his son Nezahaulpili, two kings and sorcerer-poets of Texcoco, (one of the three city-states of the Triple Alliance--better known as the Aztec or Mexica Empire) ca. 1420-1519. The novel would explore the problems of justice and statecraft in an environment of increasing human sacrifice on the part of the Mexica proper (of Tenochtitlan, the dominant city of the Triple Alliance) while the “Nezahual” kings of Texcoco were creating and pursuing a spiritual revolution including the abolition of human sacrifice.

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