reza baraheni was born in Tabriz, Iran, in 1935. He obtained his doctorate in literature from the University of Istanbul and in 1963 was appointed as Professor of English at Teharan University. He has also taught in universities in the USA and England. He is the author of several novels and short stories and is a celebrated poet. His God's Shadow: Prison Poems is based on a period of 102 days in solitary confinement at the end of 1973, during the time of the Shah. Still active in trying to promote democratic liberties in his country, he was a signatory to a 1994 open letter to the government of Iran calling for artistic freedom and an end to censorship.