Niloufar Talebi is a genre-defying multidisciplinary artist. San Francisco poet laureate, Jack Hirschman says: "A cultural worker of the highest order, Niloufar does the bravest work, transforming not only the society from which she comes, but help change the society in which she lives.”


Talebi is the Editor/Translator of BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World (North Atlantic Books, 2008), which won 4 translation awards. Willis Barnstone said, "Niloufar Talebi has accomplished the ultimate magic trick in her clean and modern translation. She has made the work of modern Persian poets read like original English...an unparalleled contribution" and Pulitzer Prize nominee, Martin Espada praised, "Poetry is a world art because of brilliant translators like Niloufar.” She Created/Performed pieces based on the poems: Four Springs (2004), Midnight Approaches (2006), and ICARUS/RISE (2007), which the San Francisco Examiner called, "The festival's crown jewel..."


She Wrote/Directed/Performed, The Persian Rite of Spring (2010) a multimedia work commissioned for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which art consultant Maryna Hrushetska called, "...dazzling...electrifying, a modern theatrical performance born out of cross-cultural and multidisciplinary wisdom." The Huffington Post said, "With this innovative and masterful work, Talebi offers us a new form of expression...a true reflection of a hybrid point of view....[making] an entire culture intelligible..."


Ātash Sorushān (Fire Angels) (2011), her libretto for the 10th anniv. of 9/11, was co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Cal Performances, and Meet the Composer. The New York Times called it, "Elegant,” and Operavore wrote, "Librettist Niloufar Talebi, the theatrical visionary behind THE PERSIAN RITE OF SPRING, saw the focus of the [9/11] piece as a romance, rather than a John Adams-esque CNN song cycle...rather than retell the events themselves, [they] delve into their emotional cores..."






Talebi’s requiem project, everyonedies (2012), was exhibited as video and digital installation at the SOMArts Gallery in San Francisco, and will be performed as Epiphany (2015), a live multimedia performance in collaboration with composer Paola Prestini and visual artist Ali Hossaini with the Young People’s Chorus of NYC at the BAM Next Wave Festival 2015.

Talebi was a Resident Artist at the American Lyric Theater’s Composer/Librettist Development Program in 2014/2015. The Disinherited, her one-act opera with composer Clarice Assad, premiered at the Symphony Space in New York City on June 16, 2014. She was a Resident Artist of Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiarive at the Kennedy Center in 2014, where her one-act opera, The Investment, with composer John Liberatore, premiered in November 2014.  Talebi’s opera projects were the subject of her Artist Residency at John Zorn’s The Stone in May 2014 as part of VisionIntoArt’s FERUS Festival.


The Plentiful Peach, Talebi’s libretto adaptation of Samad Behrangi’s story, “Yek Holou, Hezar Holou,” with composer Mark Grey, commisioned by the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, world premiered at Stanford Live on April 19, 2015, and tours the United States in Summer 2015.


Talebi has been published in Catamaran Literary Reader, World Literature Today, PBS Frontline, ArteEast, Bidoun, Poetry International, Rattapalax, Mother Jones, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Two Lines, and more. Her work has been presented at numerous venues including, the Asia Society, PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature in NYC, the National Arts Club, St. Mark’s Poetry Project, LA Craft and Folk Art Museum, Riverside Theatre, SOMArts Gallery, Visible Verse Film Festival, Persian Arts Festival, Neustadt Festival of International Literature and Culture, DUMBO Arts Festival, the New York Public Library, The New School, City University of New York, State University of New York (SUNY), City University of New York (CUNY), Universities of California at Berkeley, Irvine and Los Angeles, California College of the Arts, Yale University, Queens College, CalArts, Theater Artaud, Berkeley Repertory Theater, ODC Theater, Actor’s Theater, Intersection for the Arts and more.

Talebi is the recipient of numerous grants (James Irvine Foundation, Walter and Elise Haas Foundation, Zellerbach Foundation, Christensen Fund, San Francisco Arts Commission (2X), the Creative Work Fund, PARSA Community Foundation, Unique Zan Foundation, Farhang Foundation, and more), and 5 translation awards: NEA Literature Translation Fellow (2015), PEN American Center/New York State Council on the Arts grant for editing and translating BELONGING, the International Center for Writing and Translation Prize, American Literary Translators Association Fellowship and the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize. She is Artist-in-Residence at School of the Arts in San Francisco. She was in residence at the Ledig House International Writers Residency (2005 and 2008). She was adjunct professor at Hunter College in NY (2010), and currently at Plymouth State University. She is the Founding Director of the Translation Project, a nonprofit creating innovative Iranian-inspired projects.


Talebi was born in London to Iranian parents. She received a BA in Comparative Literature from UC Irvine and an MFA in Writing and Literature from Bennington College, and studied performance with John White, the NEA 4, Jean Shelton, and Cyril Clayton.