Mehdi Tavana Okasi
Assistant Professor of Creative Writing
Mehdi Tavana Okasi was born in northern Iran and lived for brief periods with his family in Turkey, the former Yugoslavia, and Austria before finally settling in Massachusetts at the age of seven.
His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian-American Writers (Univ. of Arkansas Press, 2013), Discoveries: New Writing from the Iowa Review (Univ. of Iowa Press, 2012), Best American Voices: Anthology (Harcourt, 2009), Los Angeles Review of Books, Glimmer Train, Guernica, Iowa Review, and Think Magazine, among others.
Okasi was editor-in-chief of Sycamore Review from 2007 to 2009; the 2008 Joyce Horton Johnson Fellow at the literary seminars in Key West; winner of the $10,000 award in the National Society of Arts and Letters annual short story competition in 2010; the Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011–12; and a 2014 Massachusetts Cultural Council fellow in fiction/creative nonfiction.
He is currently completing a novel set against the political backdrop of U.S.-Iran tensions that centers around the lives of two Iranian-American families and the painful secrets that break the bonds between mothers and sons.