Official New Hampshire website
NHSCA logo 50th anniversary tagline


 nh arts home
 program services
trans div
 arts & artists
   artist rosters
   poet laureate
   artist laureate
trans div
nh folklife
 news & calendar
 about us
 site map



Arts & Artists  

New Hampshire Poet Showcase
From NH Poet Laureate, Walter E. Butts

At my request, the NH Arts Council is providing me with a link to the poet laureate page on their website in order that I may continue to showcase poems by a number of New Hampshire Poets. The poets will be by my invitation only, but I plan to include those who are seriously working at their craft from many areas of the state.

Featured Poet: Ala Khaki, Amherst

Ala KhakiAla Khaki was born in Iran in 1955.  Imprisoned twice in the infamous Evin Prison during the Shah’s regime for participation in the student democracy movement, he fled to America in 1978, following a tip from a military relative that he was on a death squad list.  That same year all copies of his first book, From Here to Sunrise, were burned by the Shah’s secret police.

Ala Khaki’s poems have appeared in Iranian literary journals including The Book Review, Par (Feather) and Thought and Imagination.  “Calling the Dawn”, a selection of his Farsi poems, and “Return”, a selection of his English poems, were published in 1994 and 2005 respectively.  He was a feature at the New England Poetry Conference in 2004 and 2005, sponsored by the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, and continues to read throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts. 
Ala Khaki’s unpublished works include the novels “Eden” and “The Little Light”, his memoirs “Coming of Age in Iran”, and a new collection of poetry “Walk on Fire with Me”, all in English, in addition to a novel in Farsi “Matches of Thunder”. 

Still active in promotion of democracy in Iran, Ala Khaki lives in New Hampshire, USA.


Following a painful divorce in 2002 after a 23-year long relationship, I went through a period of cynicism and disillusionment about love, which only got strengthened by a few short-lived attempts at breaking new grounds.  Then in 2006, I met someone who became the inspiration for this poem, alas to lead me to yet another mirage.  I would have destroyed this poem had it not been for connecting with the soul that has completed mine since 2008.


Just over the edge of reason,
near the brink of madness,
lies love,
enthralling, exuberant,
splendid, mysterious, and dangerous --
            a space-time warp
            infused with the spirit of
            winged stallions
            and wounded mares.

For the soul who dares
            to explore
            awaits a whirlwind of emotions
            unlike anything
            experienced before --
                       from the rush of ecstasy
                                   on the flight
                                   to the summit of wholeness,
                       to the crush of exile
                                   on the fall
                                   to the arctic of loneliness
                       and everything in between.

Nothing is safe
and everything is possible
between two breaths.

Enter at your peril
and live
as the Sun,
as the Sea.


Or don’t
and never know
what it means
to be.


For more on Ala Khaki visit:


Click here for a list of previous Poet Showcases

Last updated: December 28, 2012

nh | privacy policy | accessibility policy