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 writer, translator, activist and our firm supporter Norwegian PEN’s Turkey Advisor Caroline Stockford! She has also served in the board of PEN International and has been a staunch defender of freedom of expression in Turkey for years, observing trials, producing international reports, organising various actions for prosecuted writers in solidarity.We thank her from the heart for her contributions. We will be add her recommendations to our growing list in the week ahead, so check back in for that!
About Caroline Stockford: Caroline Stockford is a translator of Turkish poetry and literature into English and Welsh. She writes and performs poetry in English and Turkish and holds a Masters’ Degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University in the History of the Turkish Language. She has translated the poetry of classic and contemporary Turkish poets at the Cunda International Workshop for Translators of Turkish Literature for the past three years and is currently translating two Turkish novels and co-translating the poetry of küçük İskender into Welsh.
You can also follow our blog on the main page with food for thought content and our collective music playlist on Spotify!
Wherever I lay my hand on, there is unhapiness,
A sort of absence grows over there somewhere
I am like absence in the afternoons with my tale telling beard
I lean against a wall and watch some men wither away
The sun goes down between the legs of some women
I laugh silently and keep my sunglasses on
My face is covered in dust and I haven’t combed my hair either
I fell into this city somehow from the countryside.
About the author:
1994 yılında İstanbul’da doğdu. Lisans öğrenimini 2020 yılında Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Türk Dili ve Edebiyatı bölümünde tamamladı. 2020’den beri Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Türk Dili ve Edebiyatı’nda yüksek lisans öğrencisidir. Aynı zamanda “ikinci üniversite programı” kapsamında İstanbul Üniversitesi Tarih Bölümü’nde öğrenim görmektedir. 2015 yılında beşincisi düzenlenen Turgut Uyar Şiir Ödülleri’nde Ömrüm Bir Karadutun Kar Görme Heyecanıyla Geçti başlıklı dosyasıyla birincilik ödülünü kazandı. Aynı yıl ilk şiir kitabı Ömrüm Bir Karadutun Kar Görme Heyecanıyla Geçti BenceKitap Yayınları tarafından yayımlandı. Birikim dergisinde, Ayrıntı Dergi’de ve BirgünKitap’ta yazılarına, Sözcükler dergisinde şiirine yer verildi.
Tuğba Temel – KEŞKE MAVİ BİR ÇARŞAFA DOLAYIP DOĞURSAYDI ANNEM BENİ/ I Wish My Mother Had Me Wrapped In Blue Sheets At Birth
In tables formed on gingham veils
We would have chatted to the black pepper grinder
Enter into bets with ashtrays,
Playing chequers with bread crumbs
Would get to scratch the ears of an stray cat,
Would lie across the plains of scattered bird feed
With city pigeons
About the author:
I was born in İzmit. After completing the primary and high school in the same city I graduated from Sakarya University Engineering Faculty Food Engineering. Ever since I discovered taking a pen at hand and paint in feelings and dreams, I’ve been presenting my ink to paper.
Ali Usta’s work seems to be in doldrums, not many visitors. There is not a single movement in the apartment, as if it has laid down for a hundred-year nap. All of a sudden, the balcony door on the upper floor of the baklava shop opens, and an elderly man comes out to the balcony. Having said to go out to the balcony, it is a one-step balcony, he opens the door and throws himself on the chair on the balcony. Where did this guy come from? The stillness of the apartment, which is slanted to collapse, is dissolving, my eyes cannot get used to the man on the balcony. He is almost as old as the apartment. Both his hair and beard have hued into a dirty white as if they had not been washed for years. He is dressed in a white shirt, that I am sure he wears every day.
About the author:
Born in Ankara, now lives in İstanbul. A doctrate student of Istanbul University Management Faculty; busy writing stories when not researching.
***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.