reading her poetry in Turkish, Kurdish and English
Monday 2nd October 2017 at Offside Books
To have a chance to meet and listen to a poet such as Bejan Matur in the intimate surroundings of Offside Books was a rare pleasure. To hear her speak about the village she is from in Northern Kurdistan (East Turkey), with its mountains and streams, its traditions that go back to the days before modern Islam and the Turkish Republic. The fascinating stories she tells of her ‘neolithic grandmother’. And now her life after all the books (ten? twelve?) she has published of her poetry, the languages she has been translated into, the prizes she has won.
And then the pleasure of hearing her recite and to hear the translations in English of her verse, with its intense spirituality, so connected to the earth, so much of the past yet reaching us and touching us here and now. Followed by a special treat for us, a poem in Kurdish – as yet unpublished – with a softness and expressiveness, so different from her Turkish works.
We finished the evening by taking over a local Indian restaurant for more conversations that flew across countries and continents, traversing time as if time were of no consequence.
Bejan spends many months of the year in London. Look out for other events of hers.
And if you’re in the area, pop into Offside Books for a bilingual copy of Bejan’s latest book, “If this is a Lament”.