Biography

Bejan MaturBejan Matur was born of an Alevi Kurdish family on 14 September 1968 in the ancient Hittite city of Marash in Southeast Turkey. Her first school education was in her village; later she attended the long-established Lycée in the region’s most important cultural center Gaziantep. These years were spent living with her sisters far from their parents. She studied Law at Ankara University, but has never practiced. In her university years, she was published in several literary periodicals. Reviewers found her poetry “dark and mystic”. The shamanist poetry with its pagan perceptions, belonging to the past rather than the present, of her birthplace and the nature and life of her village, attracted much attention.

Her first book, Rüzgar Dolu Konaklar (Winds Howl Through the Mansions), published in 1996, unrelated to the contemporary mainstream of Turkish poets and poetry, won several literary prizes. Her second book, Tanrı Görmesin Harflerimi (God Must Not See The Letter of My Script) in 1999 was warmly greeted. Two further books, appeared at the same time in 2002, Ayın Büyüttüğü Oğullar (The Sons Reared by the Moon) and Onun Çölünde (In His Desert), have been continuing the distinctive language and the world of imagery special to herself and her poetry.

Her poem has been translated up to 24 languages. She has a translated book, which published by ARC in England, called In the Temple of a Patient God.

Her translated book in German and French published in Luxembourg by PHI Publishing House.

Her last book, İbrahim’in Beni Terketmesi (How Abraham Abandoned Me), published in March 2008, was considered by the critics to be her best book ever. In that book, her new way of imagery was considered as mystique. She created a personal ontology and a personal mythology inspired by the thousands year of Sufi Tradition.

In May 2009, she has published an album-book called Doğunun Kapısı: Diyarbakır (The Gate of East: Diyarbakır). The book is about the city called Diyarbakır, which is ancestral homeland of Kurdish and Armenian people. She has written a history of the city, which is nearly 3000 years old. Through her poetic text and the photos you can see the history of the city from ancient time to present.

In 2010, she published Kader Denizi (Sea of Fate) with the photographs taken by Mehmet Günyeli after the exhibition of Sea of Fate in the prestigious galleries in Istanbul and Ankara.

In 2010, she contributed to Son Defa with a monologue about love, played by Tiyatro Oyunevi and to Özgürlük (Freedom) with a poem called Dağ (Mountain), published with the cooperation of Amnesty International.  

In February 2011, she published her recent book called Dağın Ardına Bakmak (Looking Behind the Mountain) which is her first prose book. It is about the PKK Guerillas. For the book, she went to steep Kandil Mountain, where PKK is located and hided, for making interviews with the guerillas, fight against the Turkish Army. The book is the first attempt to show off the personal stories of the guerillas behind the frontiers in the war.

In Autumn 2011, she wrote a long poem called ‘İnfinity watchman’ for REFLECTION ON ISLAMIC ART book which was published by Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation. The poem is about an Astrolobe which take place in Qatar Islamic Art Museum was made in 10. Century by AL KUJANDI.

A collections of her poems was published in Chinese by THE CHINESE UNIVERSITY PRESS in 2011.

Her translated book called How Abraham Abandoned Me published in England by Arc in March 2012. The book was chosen by Poetry society as  ‘best translation of a year.’

Since 2005, she writes regular articles for the Op-Ed of daily newspapers as a columnist. Mainly, she writes about Kurdish politics, Armenian issue, daily politics, minority problems, prison literature, and women issues. She is a former director of a cultural foundation called DKSV (Diyarbakır Cultural Art Foundation) which is located in Diyarbakır. She conducted social projects with children, women and the younger population who were removed from their village.

In 2011, she becomes an expert council for DPI (Democratic Progress Institue) which mainly focus on conflict resolution. Currently she works as expert council on Kurdish issue.

She has a daily column in the newspaper of Rudaw which is based in Erbil, Kurdistan.

Bejan Matur, who believes there is no frontier between poetry and life, travels the world like a long-term desert nomad. She stops by Istanbul, a city she sometimes lives in.

 

Books:

Rüzgar Dolu Konaklar                         1996 (Metis) / 2011 (Timaş)

Tanrı Görmesin Harflerimi                1999 (Metis) / 2011 (Timaş)

Ayın Büyüttüğü Oğullar                      2002 (Metis) / 2011 (Timaş)

Onun Çölünde                                       2002 (Metis) / 2011 (Timaş)

In The Temple of a Patient God        2004 (ARC, UK)

Winddurchwehte Herrenhauser        2006 (PHI, Louxemburg)

İbrahim’in Beni Terketmesi               2008 (Metis) / 2011 (Timaş)

Doğunun Kapısı Diyarbakır                 2009 (Timaş)

Kader Denizi                                          2009 (Timaş)

Dağın Ardına Bakmak                          2010 (Timaş)

Windhowl trough the mansions         2011 (Chinese University Press)

How Abraham Abandoned Me           2012 (ARC, UK)

Al Seu Desert                                        2012 (LaBreu Edicions, Barcelona)

 

Prizes:

Orhon Murat Arıburnu                        1997

Halil Kocagöz                                         1997

 

 

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