July 3, 2008 — University of Virginia professor Farzaneh Milani and collaborator Kaveh Safa, an anthropologist at the University of Memphis, were recently awarded the Lois Roth Prize for Literary Translation from Persian for their translation of Simin Behbahani's poetry in "A Cup of Sin: Selected Poems." The American Institute of Iranian Studies, which Roth helped establish in the 1960s, gives the annual award.
Milani, a professor in U.Va.'s Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures and in the Studies in Women and Gender program, teaches courses in Persian literature and cinema, women and Islam, and cross-cultural studies of women. Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, she earned her Ph.D. from the University of California in Los Angeles and came to the University of Virginia in 1986.
In its citation for the award, the American Institute of Iranian Studies wrote: "In 'A Cup of Sin,' Milani and Safa introduce a distinctive and often compelling poetic voice to English-speaking readers. Simin Behbahani, Iran's most celebrated living poet, writes courageously and incisively — a compelling female voice that does not flinch from poetic, personal or political engagement."
The book was published in 1999 by Syracuse University Press.