Coleman Barks: Rumi, Grace, and Human Friendship

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March 11, 2014

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Tami Simon speaks with Coleman Barks, a leading scholar and translator of the 13th century Persian mystic, Jelaluddin Rumi. Coleman’s work was the subject of an hour-long segment in Bill Moyers’ Language of Life series with PBS. He has published numerous Rumi translations, including with Sounds True the audio programs I Want Burning, Rumi: Voice of Longing, and his new three-CD collaboration with cellist David Darling called Just Being Here: Rumi and Human Friendship. In this episode, Tami speaks with Coleman about the extraordinary friendship between Rumi and his teacher Shams Tabriz, and how translating Rumi requires entering a trance state. Coleman offers insights on grace as he and Tami listen to selections from Just Being Here. (63 minutes)

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Coleman Barks is a leading scholar and translator of the 13th-century Persian mystic Jelaluddin Rumi. In addition to publishing two books of his own poetry (The Juice and Gourd Seed), Barks has published 12 volumes of translations from Rumi and others, and contributed to over 20 anthologies. The next edition of the Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces will include selections of his Rumi translations. He is currently a member of the English Department at the University of Georgia.

Author photo © John Zeuli 2011


Listen to Tami Simon's interview with Coleman Barks: Rumi, Grace, and Human Friendship

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Coleman Barks: Rumi, Grace, and Human Friendship

Tami Simon speaks with Coleman Barks, a leading scholar and translator of the 13th century Persian mystic, Jelaluddin Rumi. Coleman’s work was the subject of an hour-long segment in Bill Moyers’ Language of Life series with PBS. He has published numerous Rumi translations, including with Sounds True the audio programs I Want Burning, Rumi: Voice of Longing, and his new three-CD collaboration with cellist David Darling called Just Being Here: Rumi and Human Friendship. In this episode, Tami speaks with Coleman about the extraordinary friendship between Rumi and his teacher Shams Tabriz, and how translating Rumi requires entering a trance state. Coleman offers insights on grace as he and Tami listen to selections from Just Being Here. (63 minutes)

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