I am Meghan Nuttall Sayres, an author and tapestry weaver. My most recent books include Night Letter, a novel set in early 20th century Iran. It is a companion to my debut novel to Anahita’s Woven Riddle, and an anthology Love and Pomegranates: Artists and Wayfarers on Iran. I invite you to scroll through this slideshow to see photographs of the places that have inspired my work. The image of the book inside the woven saddle bag was taken at a reading I gave in my friend’s carpet shop called Adnan and Hasan’s in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. The novel shown is the Turkish translation of Anahita’s Woven Riddle: Sicak Bir Ask Masali. Thus far, the book has also been translated into Hebrew, Italian, Spanish, and Farsi with editions forthcoming in India. Please click on the image of Anahita’s Woven Riddle below to read interviews with the translators, illustrators and graphic artists from these...
This is the dye palette I use for my tapestries, made from natural ingredients that many dyers around the world use. Blue is made from indigo, the yellow from dyers broom or the tansy in the fields around my home. Red is from madder root, magenta is from cochineal. With these primary colors, and a technique called over-dyeing, a weaver can create many shades in between.
Istanbul is a city I love that spans Europe and Asia. It is an energetic melting pot of roughly 17 million people, where I have met artists and friends of all kinds I come here to relax and recharge as well as do research on a novel set in Turkey.
Votives left by pilgrims at this holy well and shrine in Glencholmcille, Ireland. Read more about it in my book Weaving Tapestry in Rural Ireland, or, from this site’s main page click on the book cover.
According to Turkey’s tourism website: “Sahaflar Çarşısı, the Second-hand Book Bazaar, nestles in an ancient, courtyard between the Beyazıt Mosque and Fesciler entrance to the Covered Bazaar. One of İstanbul’s oldest markets, the Bazaar is built on the same site as the Chartoprateia, which used to be the book and paper market of Byzantium. However, it was only at the end of the 18th century that booksellers began to migrate across from the Covered Bazaar and set up shop in the courtyard. Printing and publishing legislation introduced soon after enabled the trade to expand in a major way and take over the entire market, which from then on became known as the Sahaflar Çarşısı. Well into this century the market remained a focal point for the sale and distribution of books within the Ottoman Empire, as well as a gathering spot for İstanbul’s intellectual and literary circles.” It was here that I first met Onur Goker, who sells miniatures and runs restoration workshop with his wife Funda. Onur sketched the image of a whirling dervish, which is featured in my novel Night Letter. Look for photos of Onur and his wife under the Night Letter or artists pages of this website and blog. ...
These two novels and anthology are set in Iran and were inspired by my travels to that country where I met weavers, dyers, writers and other artists. For more details see the home page of this website and blog.
This is a panel of etched petroglyphs in Natural Bridges National Park. Rock art also includes painted images called pictographs that were made from mineral and vegetal pigments. Some date thousands of years old. To reach this panel one must crawl through a hole in a rock wall wall, climb the back of it, then walk across a fin of rock that has hundred foot drop offs on either side. Perhaps this is what has kept this rock art panel well preserved.
Many of these dwellings appear to be impossible to climb to, but often they are accessible by foot. It usually involves hiking down one side of a canyon and up the other to reach them, gaining and loosing hundreds of feet in elevation.
This town is the setting of Night Letter. The massive walls of the famous Ark fortress can be seen in the distance. This was home of the Bukharan emirs until Soviet takeover in the 1920’s.
This minaret was the tallest in Asia until a new one was built in Taskent in the 1990’s. Kaylan Minaret impressed Cenghis Khan so much that he did not attack it, however, the Soviets bombed it when they overtook the region. It is featured in my novel Night Letter.
I followed this truck for several miles in the mountains and deserts between Shiraz and Yazd. Stories about her trip can be read in her anthology Love and Pomegranates: Artists and Wayfarers on Iran, or, click on the Love and Pomegranates book cover on the home page to find links to some of her and others’ stories.
The ruins in Palmyra span from pre-Roman times through the 19th century can be found at this site. The Temple of Baal is at the far end of the photo, a Roman market in the middle, and behind me and my friend Mezzen are the Valley of the Dead and a more modern fortress built in16-17th CE. Palmyra is the setting of my novel-in-progress.
This former Crusader castle housed the French Hospitalers until about 1260 when the castle was overtaken by Mamluk forces. It sits in the Homs gap, an area that is currently under seige. Sadly, there is a YouTube video showing the bombing of this castle in 2013. Long ago, the Mamluks fought and won battles here against the Ilkhanid Mongols. This is the setting of my novel-in-progress.
Meghan in the Media
“Leaving Aleppo With 700 Works of Art” essay at Huffington Post
“Conversations in Istanbul in the Wake of Charlie Hebdo” essay at Huffington Post
“Writing is Spirit” A Synchronous Meeting With Calligrapher Omer Basdag
story at PEN America
“Love and Pomegrantes” article at Huffington Post
“Excerpt from ‘Travels with Ramazan'” article at PEN American
Access study guides, information and photos about topics related to my books.
Animation by Rashin KheiriyehLearn More