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.
Due to the shortage of capacities in producing monthly issues and the backlog of submissions during the summer holidays, we have decided to publish double the number of young writers we would usually publish under each section. Enjoy reading!
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 beloved contemporary writers in the world of literature in Turkey and beyond, Ece Temelkuran!
About Ece Temelkuran: She is an award-winning Turkish novelist, political thinker and public speaker, whose writing has appeared in the Guardian, New York Times, New Statesman, Frankfurter Allgemeine and Der Spiegel, etc. She won the Edinburgh International Book Festival Book Award for her novel Women Who Blow On Knots and the Ambassador Of New Europe Award for her book Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy. Ece has been granted honorary citizenship of Palermo for her advocacy of refugees. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed book How to lose a country. Her latest book is Together – 10 choices for a better now.
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I changed child. Perhaps words don’t convey the feeling of living. Perhaps speaking, is nothing but dry noise. Yet change means a lot more than the total of millions of words. One day you make a meaning and no other meaning can rescue you from it. I found myself inside my head one day, out of the blue. I didn’t know how deep I would go. Because sometimes, in order to face things, you needed to take risks again. I know you believe that you will be happy without getting yourself hurt. But you won’t be. I used to think that I could take the wind on my back and run for days, for months. Children dream of fantastic dreams before sleeping, I know you do too. Making plans in your head, plotting how to win the heart of the girl you like in school. You want to fly with her for example. You want to show her the whole of the sky. I know, there is not an ounce of selfishness in you neither. You take pleasure from making others happy. Otherwise the clouds are not the issue. Neither is drifting alone up there, the deal is to become the smile on someone else’s face.
About the author:
I am Ozan Güven. I am 24 years old and a last grade student of Communication Design at Başkent University. I am someone who took in Ankara’s gray air and distilled all his gloom to purer feelings through the strainer of writing. The two novels I wrote is waiting at the sidelines, perhaps because they have not distilled enough. I am a young person who was enamoured by the infinite nature of writing, wishing for his to eventually take their place on shelves, waiting to be turned into cinema, and who will wait for all these things eternally.
Like a forgotten corpse,I had found myself in a formidable parkOne should be in the infantry of nostalgia anyways.We had rushed to the civil registry in no time flat,My good hearted corpse! I had become indebted to you,I couldn’t just take you to a freshly dug up grave and lay you down,We had left the park hand in handBad poems, my sullied blood,The rain falling from a sky ripped up desperatelyThe lonesome bookmarks of torn books,
About the author:
He was born on 11 December 1990 in Wuppertal, Germany. In 1995, he and his family returned to Turkey from Germany and settled in Ankara. He studied at Ahmet Vefik Paşa Primary School and then Ankara High School. He completed his undergraduate education at Hacettepe University, Department of Turkish Language and Literature.
His first poems were published in Kıyı Kültür ve Sanat magazine (2016). Then, his poems were published in various magazines such as Bireyliks, Forbidden Fruit, Sincan Station, Şehir, I Miss Poetry, Literature Watch, Eliz, and Hayâl. His first book of poetry, “Star Zero”, was published in Written Paper Publishing in 2020 and took its place on the shelves. The second book of poetry is; “Evening Wearers Wear Polka Dot Wind” was published in the Bottom Series category of Klaros Publishing in January 2021 and was deemed worthy of the special jury award in the 2021 Kemal Özer Poetry Competition. Şahin, who is currently preparing his third book of poetry, finds himself without roads to take, with seagulls daring, pigeons sluggish and persistently continues to live in Ankara.
My hands had cuts, the cuts had their wounds
That had egos starting with e bursting out
Pieces of fable tales had fairy girls hiding in their purity
She never got to be one of those fairy girls, who she was is unknown
Dreams hooked on the moon’s grappling hooks
Never ironed neither wrinkled
Tailored for the anonymous fairy girl.
About the author:
Born in Istanbul in 1996, graduated from Özyeğin University Psychology Department and now wanting to move into neurosciences. She also writes poems and short stories. Up until now her poems have been published at Lirik Dergi, Lacivert Öykü ve Şiir Dergisi, and Şiirden Dergisi.
Like hands interlaced
We direct the waves
We suit climates to our abstraction
Like feeding a sandbag
We place ourselves to the rapturous
We always understand after the fact,
That we are humming a song long finished
That we open our palms to gods discontinued
and that all of a sudden when sitting on the beach
We are pinned on the silence bleeding our palms
About the author:
My name is Ozan Bozdoğan. I was born in Adana in 1992. I graduated from 75.yıl highschool in Adana and moved to Ankara to continue my studies in Hacettepe University, Philosophy Department. I read, I listen to music and sometimes I write. I am married and currently living in Sivas/Suşehri.
Later on, she realized that she was being unfair to herself rather than being wronged. For example, it was her choice to stand in the middle while others were always trying to lure him into ‘real life’. But she couldn’t have chosen any other way! She could not bear to see the ‘desired life’ being on the far side of the life she lived. This choice meant giving up; but standing in the middle meant hope, she thought. “Hope, but what king of hope?” she said to herself. Not a bright, blue-green, solid hope. A desperate hope. Not a reason to live but a hope more like a prisoner would have when his sentence is constantly delayed. She felt broken. Her life reminded her of a freefall between two mountains, bouncing back and forth, which lasted 40 years. Maybe that was why she felt so broken. She had to deal with long terms depersonalizations. This division between what she called ‘real life’ and what she wanted to live sometimes separated her soul from her own body.
About the author:
Biographical information awaited.
Fatih Filizay – Her Kuşluk Vakti Görünen Peri de Ölüyor / The Fairy Appearing Every Mid-morning Also Dies
Meyhane mahcup, dili kor dökmemiş
Hâyın bir akşamdan kalma
Yerde adamlar ve kusmuklar
Yukarıdan bakıyor herkese, keyiflidir
Kimsenin oturmadığı topal sandalye
About the author: Author decided against providing a biography.
***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.