Some years ago the American poet H.L. Hix and I had a brief conversation about translating the Turkish poet Ilhan Berk. Now I’m delighted to see our short exchange gathered in a new anthology, editied by H.L. Hix, The World Over: Translators Speak on New Poetry in Translation. The entire book can be downloaded free of charge as a pdf or read online at ESSAY PRESS.
A wonderful companion to The World Over is John Taylor’s A Little Tour through European Poetry (Transaction, 2014), a perceptive collection of essays which includes a piece on some of my recent translations of Turkish women poets, titled “A Panorama of Turkish Love Poetry: Birhan Keskin and Other Contemporary Women Poets”.
The third issue of Turkish Poetry Today out 1 March. With translations and originals side-by-side, Turkish Poetry Today 2015 includes extensive new work by Haydar Ergülen translated by İdil Karacadağ, Küçük İskender translated by Caroline Stockford, as well as poetry from Elif Sezen, Gökçenur Çelebioğlu, and Müesser Yeniay, and artwork by Şenol Bezci.
Click the image to listen
I’m looking at sky coming and going
A stream runs beside me, over its stones
Then suddenly stops as if flowing no more.
I saw water changing shape and form
I saw it in the shape of my hand
I saw it had no form
In its vast history.
So it is I said, rising to leave. Sky dissolving
A horse flicked its tail, a goat stretched out
Step by step on stones I passed the running stream
Then watched the water I‘d pelted with stones.
Sky drifted over me.
from Letters & Sounds, translated by George Messo
Here is the cover of my new translation of Ilhan Berk’s Letters & Sounds, due out this summer from Red Hand Books. You can read a short blurb and pre-order a copy – if the mood takes you – from the RHB website at www.rhbks.com This is my fourth book-length translation of Berk’s extraordinary poems. A Leaf About to Fall came out with Salt in 2006 and made the shortlist for the 2007 Popescu European Poetry Translation Prize. In 2008 Shearsman published Madrigals, followed in 2009 by my anthology (including work by Ilhan Berk), Ikinci Yeni: The Turkish Avant-Garde, which was also shortlisted for the Popescu Prize in 2011. Again in 2009, Salt published The Book of Things, Berk’s epic poetic trilogy of Things That Are, Things That Aren’t, Long Live Numbers, and House. Berk’s new book, Letters & Sounds, features a stunning cover painting by the man himself.
Shearsman Magazine’s next double issue will be its 100th. This issue contains poetry by Gabrielle Alioth, Martin Anderson, James Bell, Linda Black, Rosie Breese, Geraldine Clarkson, Ken Cockburn & Alec Finlay, Claire Crowther, Makyla Curtis, Harry Guest, Gary Hotham, David Kennedy, Peter Larkin, Mary Leader, Yann Lovelock, Becka Mara McKay, Christopher Middleton, Helen Moore, Sonia Overall, Simon Perchik, Peter Riley, Alexandra Sashe, Hilda Sheehan & translations of Gastón Baquero by Peter Boyle, of Ivano Fermini by Ian Seed, and of Gonca Özmen by George Messo.
For more info & to order your copy, go to the newly designed Shearsman website here.
The trial of human rights lawyer, writer and PEN Turkey member Muharrem Erbey is set to resume on 3 February 2014, after the trial against him and 80 other defendants descended into chaos during a 13 January 2014 hearing. PEN International is reiterating its calls for his immediate and unconditional release along with all others who are imprisoned solely for peacefully expressing their views. Read more by going to PEN International