Marjorie Lotfi was born in New Orleans, moved to Tehran as a baby with her American mother and Persian father, and fled Iran with one suitcase and an hour's notice during the Iranian Revolution. After waiting with family for her father's return in her mother's tiny hometown in Ohio, she lived in different parts of the US before moving to New York as a young lawyer in 1996 and then back and forth to the UK, settling in the UK in 1999, and in Scotland in 2005. She now lives in Edinburgh.
Marjorie Lotfi’s poems have been published in journals and anthologies in the UK and US (including The Rialto, Gutter, Ambit, Magma, Rattle and Staying Human), included in Best Scottish Poems 2021 and performed on BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio 4. Her pamphlet Refuge, poems about her childhood in revolutionary Iran, was published by Tapsalteerie Press in 2018. She was one of the three winners of the inaugural James Berry Poetry Prize in 2021, and her first book-length collection, The Wrong Person to Ask (Bloodaxe Books, 2023) is a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation.
She has been the Poet in Residence at Jupiter Artland, Spring Fling and the Wigtown Book Festival. She was commissioned to write Pilgrim, a sequence about migration between Iran and the US, for the St Magnus Festival in Orkney, and by the University of Edinburgh to write a European/female/migration counterpart, some of which appears in The Wrong Person to Ask.
Marjorie also founded the Belonging Project, considering the experiences of refugees with over 1,500 participants across Scotland, and is a Co-Founder and Director of the charity Open Book. She is an Ignite Fellow with the Scottish Book Trust, one of the 12 Collective of women writers, co-editor of New Writing Scotland, and chair of the board of StAnza, Scotland's International Poetry Festival.
Author photo: Heshani Sothiraj Eddleston
Books by Marjorie Lotfi