As İlkyaz, we work to introduce three young writers every issue.We translate these works, which are made up of a short stories or poems, into English and endeavour to introduce them to readers outside of Turkey. This exchange, we hope, will create new audiences for our writers in the world arena and introduce them to a global network of the world’s literary figures.
If you haven’t yet had a chance to read, you can reach the last issue’s writings here.
Don’t forget to check out our new writers under the age of 15 in “15-“, the archive of stories from everyday lives in “Human Portraits”, and the collaborative work of young writers and artists at “Literature +
This month’s reading recommendations for young writers comes from one of the most respected contemporary writers in the world of literature and President of English PEN Philippe Sands!
You can also follow our blog on the main page with food for thought content and our collective music playlist on Spotify!
I was coy, it was my habit to get angry, and youngling
I could grasp clouds when I reached up
My arms would multiply, each robustTimid and frail too was I
Walking towards the world, crowds bowing down before me
Granting me enchanted promises
Adam, listen to this Adam:
About the author: I was born in 6 August 1988 in Istanbul, where I live still. I have a voluntary based relationship with essays, poetry and theatre play reviews mainly. I have two novels in two folders that are yet to be published. I started publishing my pieces online at the now shuttered Radikal Newspaper Blog and continued in the website I founded “www.yeraltindantostlar.wordpress.com” I quit university from the department of Physics. I quit acting, for which I quit my studies, because I don’t trust in my theatre acting skills. I worked as a book shop owner, I quit that too. I have been working in a school cafeteria which is our family run business for a long time and I don’t play the violin, I don’t know any Spanish.
I peel the oranges and whisper to the peels
The history of geography
This orange scent repels poverty
I will set the book I’m reading on fire too
Yugoslavia splits then, once again
In Vietnam, waters get carried from one shore to another
Burnt books resemble paper hats,
I take one and wear it on my head, my mother tongue suddenly turns French
An ordinary hospital corridor, scented with disinfectant and hopelessness. Those rushing. Those waiting. Dying. Returning from the path to death. Forcing others out of their paths. She is a small, insignificant part of this turmoil. Sitting in the waiting room, staring at her feet. A pair of high heels with sharp, shiny tips. Matching with her handbag. Her nerve endings burn up at each step and still she wears them. To have a common ground with the others.
About the author: My name is Eylül (means September in Turkish) I was born at the start of the millennium and spent most my childhood in the shores of the Mediterranean, under olive and lemon trees, in a world solely my own, birthed between two lines. Nowadays in the time I have left from that which I spend in that world, I am trying to complete the law faculty. I still believe that happiness is a fine brewed cup of coffee and that there is a gold filled pouch at the end of the rainbow.
***NOTE ON INTERNATIONAL TRANSLATIONS***
Before the COVID pandemic hit, we also worked to translate our young writers works into a third language, by establishing collaborations with PEN centre’s all over the world. In December, we initiated this effort with Norwegian PEN‘s lead. After PEN Germany, PEN Belgium/Flanders continued the very same role for the month of February. For March, PEN French Centre took over the role of promoting our young writers abroad. For the writings of April, we collaborated with PEN South Africa. For May, Scottish PEN took over the role of amplifying our young writers voices within their membership and audience, and PEN Catalan promoted our writers for June to their own members and audience. For July our partnership reached out to Russia, in collaboration with PEN Moscow Centre! August followed with a collaboration with PEN Canada, September with PEN Venezuela, October with Croatian PEN, and November with PEN Wales/Cymru.For our December writings our partner was Danish PEN, for the month of January it was Belarusian PEN.
We apologise that due to the global effect coronavirus outbreak we have been unable to find more PEN Centre’s to collaborate with. Thus, after ensuring publishing for our writers in 14 countries, able to meet readers in their respective languages, we are moving to explore different avenues of collaboration with PEN’s global network such as joint online events and writing collaborations.
In the meantime, we will continue to work to get the voices of our young writers amplified beyond Turkey by continuing to translate them to English and distribute among PEN networks.