The words of early-13th century Persian mystic and poet Rumi come to life through the performances of poet, actor, and author Shahram Shiva. The only major performer to present Rumi's poetry in both English translations and the original Persian, Shiva was described by avant-garde composer Philip Glass as a "wealth of new and quite beautiful translations," and composer and performer Robert Arthur Fish's debut album, Fish on the Desert, included the line "Shahram speaks with the fervor of ancient Sufi master Rumi." A longtime devotee of Eastern mystical traditions, Shiva began translating Rumi's poetry in 1988 and presented his first public performance four years later. From April 25 to May 5, 1998, Shiva's opera Until the Next Whirl was presented at La Mama in New York, with Shiva in the lead role. Shiva is the author of three books: Rumi, Thief of Sleep: Quatrains from the Persian, Hush Don't Say Anything to God: Passionate Poems of Rumi, and Reading the Veil: The Literal and Poetic Trance of Rumi.