If This is a Lament
Publisher: Poetry Translation Centre
Featured poets: Bejan Matur
Bejan Matur is the most illustrious poet among a bold new women’s poetry emerging from the Middle East. Her poetry engages directly and concretely with the struggles of her people, and yet there is also a mysticism in her writing, a closeness to nature, an embracing of mythology – a dialogue with God. She is being translated by Jen Hadfield, renowned Shetland poet and artist who won the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2008. Canan Marasligil provided the bridge translations for this project.
Bejan Matur was born in 1968 to a Kurdish Alevi family in Marash, South-east Turkey. She studied law at Ankara University. Her first collection of poetry, Rüzgar Dolu Konaklar (Winds Howl Through the Mansions, 1996), stood out from the contemporary mainstream of Turkish poetry and won several literary prizes.
Jen Hadfield was born in Cheshire and lives in Shetland, whose landscape and natural life persistently informs her work. Her second poetry book Nigh-No-Place (2008, Bloodaxe Books) won the T.S.Eliot Prize in 2008. Her third poetry collection, Byssus, was published by Picador in early 2014. She is currently Writer in Residence at Glasgow University and Glasgow School of Art, supported by Creative Scotland.
Canan Marasligil is a freelance writer, literary translator, editor and curator based in Amsterdam. She specialises in contemporary Turkish literature as well as in comics. Her interest is in challenging official narratives and advocating freedom of expression through a wide range of creative projects and activities.
With thanks to Göksenin Abdal