Artists 2010 – Portrait of Istanbul

Metin Celâl

Metin Celâl (b. 1961 in Ankara, Turkey) studied mineral oil technology and journalism. An aimless cast of characters makes its way through his poetry and the lines are charged with confusion. Yet his poems are not only an expression of disorientation, but also the answer to it. The word is the needle, and the poet's compass is his compressed language.
Celâl is one of the founders of the “1980s Poetry” movement. Together with other poets from that movement, Celâl has published poems in the poetry magazines “Imge/Ayrim” (1984), “Poetika” (1985) and “Fanatik” (1989). He has also published many literary reviews in renowned literary journals such as “Varlik”, “Gosteri” and “Sanat Olayi”.
Celâl has worked as an editor for publishing houses such as “Imge” and “Gunes”, and for literary journals such as “Sombahar” and “E” . He has also started a website for contemporary Turkish poetry at Since 1996 he has been the General Secretary of the “Turkish Publishers Association” and since 2001 Director of “Edisam, the Turkish Literature and Science Writers' Association”.
Metin Celâl's texts have been translated into several languages, including English, French, German and Romanian.
Publications (a selection):
Adım Olum, Cizgi Publishing, 1986.
Kendi Kendini Tatmin , Cizgi Publishing, 1989.
Konformist , Korsan Publishing, 1993.
Ne Güzel Çocuklardık Biz, Gendas, 2000.
Gitmek Zamanı, Gendas, 2002.

Emrah Gökmen

Emrah Gökmen (b. 1986 in Tunceli, Turkey) has been living in Istanbul for five years and studying music there at the Müjdat Gezen Conservatory. He sings folk songs in Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian and Persian. The subjects of his songs include socio-political events in Turkey. Gökmen has been living in Berlin for six months.

Küçük İskender

Küçük İskender  (*1964 Istanbul, Turkey) is currently one of Turkey’s most popular and most radical poets. The publisher Beatrix Caner calls him a “true rebel”. He comes from a wealthy family from which he broke away at an early age. His work defies all classification. His first poems appeared in journals in 1986. He has since published many essays and novels in addition to poetry collections. In his poems, he effortlessly links from high and sub-culture with aggressive, flowing language. No Turkish poet before him has written such taboo-free poems. He describes himself as a metropolitan artist. One of his themes is the chaotic system of symbols in a cosmopolitan world. His sometimes ironic, sometimes symbolic language tries to express the bewildering richness of this via associations and plays on words. İskender also describes people who live their lives on the social sidelines on account of their sexuality – a rarity in Turkish literature. He read out his declaration on this theme at the first Congress of Ethnic Turkish Homosexuals held in Berlin in 2003.
Publications (a selection):
Gözlerim Sığmıyor Yüzüme. (“My Eyes Don’t Match my Face”), Adam Yayınları, 1988.
Periler Ölürken Özür Diler. (“Fairies Apologise by Dying”), Gendaş, 1994.
Belden Aşağı Aşk Hikâyeleri. (“Love Stories Below the Belt), Parantez, 1996.
Cehenneme Gitme Yöntemleri. (“Ways of Travelling to Hell”), Parantez, 1999.
Zatülcenp. (“Pleurisy”), İnkılâp, 2000.
Aşk Şiirleri Kolonisi. (“Colony of Love Poems”), Everest, Istanbul, 2004.

küçük İskender - Çin Lokantası

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Gonca Özmen

Gonca Özmen (born 1982 in Burdur, Turkey) gained a doctorate in English from the University of Istanbul. She is opening up new paths for Turkish poetry by creating unhackneyed linguistic images in her love poems drawing on the one hand from nature and on the other hand from urban life. The courtyards and patios of Istanbul are part and parcel of Özmen's metaphorical stock-in-trade.
Her first poem was published in 1997 when she was just 15 years old. Two years later she received the Ali Riza Ertan Poetry Prize. Her first book of poetry, “Kuytumda”, was published in 2000 and was awarded the Orhan Murat Ariburnu Prize for Poetry. The went on to receive the Berna Moran Poetry Prize of the University of Istanbul in 2003. Her second book, „Belki Sessiz“, was ppublished in 2008.
With friends, she has edited a magazine for literary translations, „Ç. N.” (“Çevirmenin Notu”), and she is the editor of the monthly literary magazine “Palto”.
Özmen has taken part in many international poetry readings. Her poems have been translated into English, French, German, Spanish, Slovenian and Farsi.
Kuytumda, 2000.
Belki Sessiz, 2008.