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Golnoosh Nour

Composing ROCKSONG was a truly wild ride, at times a painful one, but mostly ecstatic & inspired. Sometimes I still don’t understand how I wrote these poems, I just know I wouldn’t exchange this transcendent experience for anything else!’

Dr Golnoosh Nour is the author of The Ministry of Guidance and Other Stories (Muswell Press, 2020). Her full-length poetry collection Rocksong will be published in October 2021 by Verve Poetry Press. Golnoosh’s work has also been published in Granta and Poetry Anthology amongst others, and she has performed in numerous literary events, including Stoke Newington Literature Festival, the Poetry Café, and RVT. Golnoosh is a visiting lecturer at the University of Bedfordshire. She’s currently co-editing the issue 80 of Magma and the anthology Queer Life, Queer Love forthcoming from Muswell Press.


 ‘Our house has been vandalised again they have destroyed our bedroom our bed while we were away falling more deeply inimpermissible love.’ – from ‘A Manifesto – The Future is Queer

Fresh, queer, brave, profound, the poems in this collection from London based Iranian Golnoosh do not disappoint. Her stories are wonderful – her poetry is breath-taking!

'So tough, ferocious even, so beautiful, as insinuating in their radiance as they are translucently blunt, Golnoosh Nour’s poems, with a steely mindfulness and whiplash denouements that gut the heart, are a great and vital treasure'
Dennis Cooper


In Your Arms I Am A Boy

A sparrow, trapped and warmed in your hands,
a nightingale singing the songs of misery and victory,
a boy who competes with other boys to win at pool, at fights, at life.
A boy who murmurs in your ears that you are an empress for whom
he is ready to murder everyone else.

A jealous boy, a delicate boy, a delicious boy.
An inebriated boy, a pauper, a landless poet, a nomad who
has been accused of being a solipsistic prince.
A socialist boy, a sociable boy, an isolated boy, an island in love
with the ocean that is drowning it.

A brown boy, daggered by injustice,
an attacked prince like Siyavash, dragged
to walk through flames to prove his innocence.
As I storm through the fire, you hold my hands
like a bouquet of blossoming roses.

You are right, my empress, I am nothing but a wounded prince:
stabbed in the back and front by all my friends and
none of my enemies, bleeding on your cold marble, and you,
mesmerised by my golden blood,
will betray the world to save your boy.

'ROCKSONG is a shamelessly baroque ride through the nadirs and summits of the contemporary queer. It's a decadent book, where decadence isn't a cipher for self-indulgence, but a fierce and fugitive resistance. These poems flirt and confront in turns, they seduce and attack, they are tender and grotesque. They create a strangely exultant burlesque on identity, sexuality, desire and language. I love them for that.'
Fran Lock

The Ministry of Guidance and Other Stories

Nuanced and powerful, Nour’s collection of stories explores love and cruelty, sex and religion, and being confined by the rules of an uncompromising culture.

Set mostly in Iran, but making forays to London, Germany, and the transit area of a Ukrainian airport, the stories are brilliantly deft in summoning up the dilemmas of their protagonists, be they characters who are kicking against the confines of the society into which they are born, or characters wanting to embrace those confines.

'A strong, original voice with unprecedented stories to tell'
Marina Warner

Golnoosh reads at ‘Silent Roar: a renegade reading with 7 poets’ for the 87 Press.

More from Golnoosh!