About the Author

Ava (she/her) is a Master of Science in Social Work candidate at Columbia University. Her experience as an educator and mental health counselor has focused on media-literacy, substance use, non-violent communication, queer healthcare, and sexual assault prevention and recovery. She strives to become a licensed clinical social worker, consultant, and policy-shifter who supports people that historically and presently experience identity-based harm.


Author Statement

"These poems are written from the perspective of my grandfather, who was born in Shahsavar– a coastal city in Northern Iran, which borders the Caspian Sea. These two poems are a recountment of the grief that he has felt, and continues to feel, after leaving his home country forty years ago. I share this grief with him. One of my biggest heartbreaks is having never been to Iran and knowing that it is not yet a viable place for me to live or comfortably visit. I know I am not alone in this feeling. 

These poems are dedicated to immigrants and their decedents, like myself, who have a unique sense of incurable home-sickness. May we continue our traditions, celebrations, and storytelling– despite our distance."