Monthly Archives: September 2009

Adrianne Marcus, poet & writer

Adrianne MarcusPoet and author Adrianne Marcus, a regular contributor to Near East Review and one of the poets I translated for my 2004 book Aradaki Ses, died early on September 9 after a long illness. Adrianne was 74. Born in Everett, Mass. on March 7, 1935, Adrianne grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and graduated from San Francisco State University with degrees in Creative Writing.

Adrianne worked for The San Francisco Chronicle for many years as a food columnist. She also wrote two works of non-fiction, The Chocolate Bible and The Photojournalist: Mark & Leibovitz.

As a poet, Adrianne published over 400 poems, in such magazines as Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review, Descant, Poetry Ireland, and The Nation. A poetry pamphlet, Magritte’s Stone, was published in Ireland in 2000. A memorial celebration of her life and work was held at Temple Rodef Sholom, 170 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael, CA 94901 at 11:00AM on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009.


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Zafer Ekin Karabay


silently secretly morning light unfolds,
spilling out over rooftops: to the face
of an old man drinking coffee on a broken chair,
to the simit hidden beneath its seller’s knitted
cloth, to the little finger of a child’s gloved
hand and to the city’s newly moving traffic.

but to others it never extends: the hands
laying hold to nihilism, a few books and
rock music, to a fragmented revolt
and the in-between-me that it doesn’t see.
beside me: sounds, barely distinct — i must
have left my radio on — i look out onto
the world from the vacuum of an apartment:
john lennon leaning on a wall smiling still.

Zafer Ekin Karabay
Translated by George Messo

Zafer Ekin KarabayZafer Ekin Karabay was born in Kayseri, Turkey, in 1975. He was a graduate of Ankara University’s faculty of law and later taught at Eskisehir University. His poems, film reviews and essays were widely published. In 1999 he won the Yaşar Nabi Nayır Prize for young poets and received the Special Jury Award for the Arkadaş Z. Özger Poetry Prize in 2000. He committed suicide on 13 September, 2002, two and a half months before the publication of his first and only book, Şubatta Saklambaç (February Hide & Seek).

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Berk at Shadowtrain

ilhan berkFour new translations of Ilhan Berk can be read online, in the September/October issue of Shadowtrain.

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The Popescu 2009 Shortlist

Poems by Oktay RifatIt’s wonderful to see Oktay Rifat’s Poems, translated by Ruth Christie and Richard McKane, making the shortlist for the 2009 Corneliu M Popescu Award for European Poetry in Translation. It’s a marvellous book, which I reviewed last year for World Literature Today. The judges for this year’s award are the poets Stephen Romer and Elaine Feinstein, and they’ll be announcing the winner in November. The complete shortlist looks like this:

Mad Women by Gabriela Mistral, translated by Randall Couch. Spanish / Chile. University of Chicago Press.

Unfinished Ode to Mud, by Francis Ponge, translated by Beverley Bie Brahic. French / France. CB Editions.

Against Heaven, by Dulce Maria Loynaz, translated by James O’Connor. Spanish / Cuba. Carcanet.

Poems, by Oktay Rifat, translated by Ruth Christie and Richard McKane. Turkish / Turkey. Anvil.

Courts of Air and Earth, various, translated by Trevor Joyce. Middle and Early-Modern Irish / Ireland. Shearsman Books.

Birdsong on the Seabed, by Elena Shvarts, translated by Sasha Dugdale. Russian / Russia. Bloodaxe.

Rime, by Dante Alighieri, translated by JG Nichols and Anthony Mortimer. Italian / Italy. One World Classics.

Selected Poems, by CP Cavafy, translated by Avi Sharon. Greek / Greece. Penguin Classics.

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Bad British Architecture

Sky Plaza, LeedsFor a truely hilarious time, check out this fabulous, necessary blog of Bad British Architecture. It’s eye watering, in every sense. Here you’ll find the appalling Woodland Community Primary School, the delightful Stalinist pastiche of Sky Plaza Student Housing in Leeds, and this year’s unmistakably hideous winner of the Carbuncle Cup, Pier Head Ferry Terminal in Liverpool. It’s refreshing to hear someone giving these shocking architects the abuse they deserve.

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Turkish-Armenian Breakthrough

A new path for Turkish-Armenian relations?An update from the International Crisis Group, written by Hugh Pope, gives hope for a long-overdue settlement to Turkish-Armenian realtions. Pope writes:

“It’s been a long time coming, but Turkey and Armenia’s vow on 31 August to establish diplomatic relations, open their long-closed border and begin to talk seriously about the past is excellent news. As laid out in our 14 April report Turkey and Armenia: Opening Minds, Opening Borders, normalisation between Turkey and Armenia will benefit not just the bilateral relationship. If successful, it could win back for Turkey and its AKP government much of their recently faded prestige as domestic reformers, as regional peace-makers and as a country seriously intending to push forward with its accession process to the European Union…”

For much more on this, go to the International Crisis Group website.

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