Douglas Martin in the New York Times:
Simin Behbahani, a prizewinning poet known as “the lioness of Iran” for using her verse as a means of courageous social protest, died on Tuesday in Tehran. She was 87.
Her death was announced by the Iranian Republic News agency, the country’s official information service.
Ms. Behbahani wrote more than 600 poems, collected in 20 books, on subjects as diverse as earthquakes, revolution, war, poverty, prostitution, freedom of speech and her own plastic surgery. In poems and public speeches, she confronted Iran’s religious authorities, challenging them on practices like the stoning of women who commit adultery.
“She became the voice of the Iranian people,” Farzaneh Milani, a University of Virginia professor who translated many of her poems into English, said in an interview on Thursday. “She was the elegant voice of dissent, of conscience, of nonviolence, of refusal to be ideological.”