Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ali F. Bilir & Susan Bright: Austin

After sharing the poetry of Ali F. Bilir
with earthfamilyalpha readers for more
than a year, we have been enjoying
a visit from the poet and his family,
Kuzey (son), Defne (daughter) and
Saadet (wife) in Austin this week.
John Aielli, Austin NPR host of the program
Eklektikos, recorded
a podcast for
Aielle Unleashed
(click here to listen)
of Ali reading poems in Turkish

from his new Plain View Press book,
Migration Ballads: A Poet's Journey
and I read the English translations
from the book. Ali and Saadat
performed a Medieval Turkish
folk poem together and then Ali
read one of my poems which Defne
translated into Turkish and Ali
edited the way I have edited his
poems — a poetic edit to chip away
extra language and refine the form
so the poem arrives in a new language.

Here are some photos to enjoy
after/or before you listen to the podcast of 'poetry
and beautiful Turkish music.

If you are in Austin, you can meet Ali
and hear us read again on Friday, June 13,
7-9 PM at La Tazza Fresca at
37th and Guadalupe.

Erciyes Mountain-Kayseri, İncesu.
Photo by Photo: Selcuk Ulger.

Photo by Mustafa Eser.

Ali's parents were nomadic people. Here

is a migrant cottage in the mountains.
He now works as a pharmacist. His son and
daughter a graduate students studying
in the US. Saadat is a teacher and
author of two books, one in collaboration
with her husband, which document

the ethnic traditions of the Yörük
people of Anatolia.

Photo by Isa Celik.
Blue Windows

Photo by Isa Celik.
Shepherd on hillside.

Ali reading at The Hideout, downtown Austin,
Monday nite, June 9.

Migration Ballads: A Poet's Journey
by Ali F. Bilir
Translated by M. Ali Sulutas
Edited in English by Susan Bright

Made possible by an award from the
Turkish Ministry of Culture (TEDA),
Ali's book will be featured at the Frankfurt
Book Fair (the largest book fair in the world).
It will receive added attention because
Turkey is the featured country this year.

Susan reading Ali's poems in English.

We want to thank Thom Woodruff for
hosting the reading at The Hideout,
and making Ali welcome at Austin poetry
venues and John Aielli for the amazing work
he does.

When I grew up I could not have imagined that
contemporary world poets could know
one another's work.

It is amazing and earthfamilyalpha has
become one of the forums where that happens.
So thanks also to OZ.

Susan Bright, 2008

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.


Born in 1945 in Gülnar, Mersin, Turkey. Attended the School of Medicine for a year, but graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Istanbul, in 1969. Participated in the student and youth movements of 1968. In 1967, took a four-month adventure tour of Europe and North Africa, mainly on foot.

While practicing his profession in his own pharmacy in his home town of Gülnar, kept writing poems and short stories, which he had started doing in high school. Assumed responsibilities with cultural, social, educational, sports, and literature clubs.
His poems, short stories, and articles on certain subjects have been published in local, regional, national, and international periodicals, magazines, and journals.

Among the prizes he obtained are: 1990 Günes Magazine (Sweden) - Story, 1993 Orhan Kemal - Story, 1996 Ibrahim Yildiz - Honorable Mention for the poetry book of Göç Türküsü (Migration Ballad), 1998 Samim Kocagoz – Story, 2004 S. Avni Olez - Jury Special Prize for the poetry book of Güz Animsamalari (Autumn Reminiscences).

His published books in Turkish are: Usuyen Sicak Duslerim (My Shivering Warm Dreams) (Stories), Göç Türküsü (Migration Ballad) (Poems), Elestiriden Günceye (From Critique to Diary) (Critiques and Diaries), and Güz Animsamalari (Autumn Reminiscences) (Poems).


* Book cover photo by Turkish photographer: Mustafa Eser.


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Blogger SB said...

Dear Susan,

Am listening to the radio broadcast of you and Ali...really poignant work and wonderful listening experience between his Turkish and your reading in English. I am enjoying it the two languages and the footnotes you mention. Love the music playing after it also...

"Birds carrying stones...." .....what a great myth.

What is not a myth is how thrilled I am to be part of the PVP legend.
Love this music!!! and the punch of his Turkish language.
Good luck tonight reading !

Linda Overman

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for translating these wonderful poems and opportunity...Gok Han-GVille.

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a surprise! Listening poems in both languages and wonderful musics from Turkey. I can't wait to read his other poems. Many thanks.

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a feast for the soul! It was also great experience to listen the poems both in English and Turkish. They touched my heart…

Thank you very much!

9:33 PM  

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