VERSschmuggel/reVERSible: Kurdish-German

Mirko Bonné

Mirko Bonné c_Skiba

Mirko Bonné (born in 1965 in Tegernsee) has translated work by such writers as E.E. Cummings, Emily Dickinson, John Keats, Robert Louis Stevenson and William Butler Yeats. He has published novels, stories, essays, travel journals and radio plays. His novel Lichter als der Tag is forthcoming in Autumn 2017. Foreign travel and fellowships have taken Mirko Bonné to South America, the USA, Iran, China and the Antarctic. Prizes he has received for his work include the Ernst Willner Prize, the Prix Relay, the Marie Luise Kaschnitz Prize and the Rainer Malkowski Prize. Bonné lives in Hamburg.
Publications (a selection):
Nie mehr Nacht. Schöffling & Co. 2013
Traklpark, Schöffling & Co.2012
Wie wir verschwinden. Schöffling & Co. 2009
Die Republik der Silberfische. Schöffling & Co. 2008

Eskerê Boyîk

Eskerê Boyîk c_privat

Eskerê Boyîk (born in 1941 in Qundexsazî, Riya Teze, Armenia) studied Business Studies in Yeriwan. After gaining his doctorate in 1974 he became the head of the faculty and taught on village economic structures. In 1993, following the collapse of the USSR, Boyîk came to Germany. He writes essays on science and social policy and is a freelance writer. He joined the Writers’ Union of the Soviet Union in 1984, later becoming a member of the Armenian Writers’ Association and the Kurdish PEN. In 2012, as chairman of the Intellectuals’ Committee of the Mala Ezdiyan (Cultural Centre for Yazidis in the Diaspora) of the City of Oldenburg, he founded the Research Centre for Yazidology, which has developed into a centre of Kurdish and Yazidi culture.

Bi Kurtayî Dîroka Êzdiyên Ermenistanê (The Story of the Yasidis in Armenia briefly explained). 2015
Çanda Kurdên Sovête (Kurdish Culture in the former Soviet Union). 2012
Nûra Elegezê (Holy Light of Elegez). 2011
Ez Kilameke Melül 2009

Yildiz Çakar

Yildiz Çakar c_ Çakar

Yildiz Çakar (born in 1978 in Amed, Diyarbekir, Turkey) has worked as a correspondent and editor for Kurdish and Turkish newspapers. Her poems, published between 1999 and 2003 in the newspaper Azadiya Welat and the magazine Jiyana Rewşen, were published as the collection Goristana Stêrkan (Cemetery of the Stars) published in 2004 by Weşanên Elma. Motifs in Çakar’s texts include death, experience of exile and the void. As well as her collections of verse Çakar has also published a collection of stories, an encyclopaedia of the culture, geography and history of Diyarbekir, prose texts under the title Leylanok (Illusion, Weşanên Avesta 2014), relating to the holy script Avesta, and a novella. She has taken part in various conferences and discussion panels in South Kurdistan, Europe and Turkey on Kurdish poetry and the voices and images of women in the ballads of the traditional Kurdish bards, known as Dengbêjs. Çakar is a founder member of the Kurdish Writers’ Association. Her poems and other writings have been translated into Turkish, Arabic, German and English.

Carolin Callies

Carolin Callies c_Theimer

Carolin Callies (born in 1980 in Mannheim) studied German and Media Studies in Mannheim after training as a publisher’s bookseller with Suhrkamp Verlag. The then worked as a programme assistant in the Frankfurt Literaturhaus organising readings for the publishers Schöffling & Co. Since October 2016 she has been a writer and self-employed event organiser. In Spring 2015 Callies published her first collection, fünf sinne & nur ein besteckkasten with Schöffling & Co. and received the 2015 Thaddäus Troll Prize and the Annual Fellowship for Literature of the Land of Baden-Württemberg and the Baden-Württemberg Art Foundation Fellowship. Other poems have appeared in Bella triste, Allmende, POET and the Neue Rundschau. Callies took part in the 17th open mike in 2009 and the Leonce und Lena Prize in 2015.

Simone Kornappel

Simone Kornappel c_Annette Lux

Simone Kornappel lives in Berlin and is a co-editor of the magazine randnummer literaturhefte. Her poems have been published in magazines and anthologies including Flarf Berlin. 95 Netzgedichte (Edition Paechterhaus 2012), Freie Radikale: 13 Dichter vor ihrem ersten Buch (Luxbooks 2010) and most recently all dies hier, Majestät, ist deins – Lyrik im Anthropozän (kookbooks 2016). Together with Sylvia Geist, Daniela Seel, Christian Lux, Andreas Bülhoff and Jan Skudlarek she has translated poems by Peter Gizzi into German. In 2012 she received the Wiesbaden Orphil Poetry Prize and a working grant from the Berlin Senate.

Kerîm Kurmanc

Kerîm Kurmanc (born in 1976 in Qûçan, Xorasan, Iran) studied journalism and has written about the lives of various Kurdish poets. He has written two screenplays which were confiscated by the state. His poem ‘Silav xatirxwestin bimîne wextekî din’ was banned with no reason given. Kurmanc writes poems in the modern Lo style and also Sêxiştî, a poetic form dating from the Sassanid period which only survives among the Kurds in Xorasan. Many of his texts have been set to music. He was awarded the Prize of Honour for the Best Poem at the 2014 Literature Festival of the City of Erdebîl. Kurmanc is now a film-maker and writer working on a film about the poet Cefer Qulî Zengilî. He lives in Teheran.

José F. A. Oliver

José F.A. Oliver c_privat

José F. A. Oliver (born in 1961 in Hausach in the Black Forest) comes from a family of Andalusian guest workers and studied German, Romance Studies and Philosophy at the University in Freiburg. In 2002 he was a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge in the USA and, as he also was later at the University of Warwick in the UK, writer-in-residence. As well as visiting professorships at the Dresden Technical University (2007) and the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich (2013) he was the City Writer in Cairo in 2004 and in 2013 received the fellowship of the Tarabya Cultural Academy in Istanbul. José Oliver is the curator of the LeseLenz Literature Festival in Hausach (, which he founded in 1998. Together with the Stuttgart Literaturhaus he has developed a concept for schools, for encouraging the language sensibility of children and young people and expanding their understanding of literature in writing workshops.

21 Gedichte aus Istanbul, 4 Briefe und 10 Fotow:orte. Matthes & Seitz 2016
Lyrisches Schreiben im Unterricht – Vom Wort in die Verdichtung. Klett / Kallmeyer-
Friedrich-Verlag 2013
fahrtenschreiber. poems. Suhrkamp 2010
Mein andalusisches Schwarzwalddorf. Essays. Suhrkamp 2007
Unterschlupf. poems. Suhrkamp 2006

Prizes (a selection):
Basle Poetry Prize 2015
Joachim Ringelnatz Prize 2012
Thaddäus Troll Prize 2009

Ilma Rakusa

Ilma Rakusa (born 1946 in Rimavská Sobota, Slovakia) spent her early childhood in Budapest, Ljubljana and Trieste; she studied Slavic Studies and Romance Studies in Zurich, Paris and Leningrad and has worked as a translator from French, Russian, Serbo-Croatian and Hungarian and journalist (Neue Zürcher Zeitung and Die Zeit). Ilma Rakusa is now a freelance writer living in Zurich. She is a member of the German Academy for Language and Poetry and of the board of the Allianz Cultural Foundation and many juries. In 2010-11 she was a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.
Mehr Meer, Erinnerungspassagen, Graz 2009
Zur Sprache gehen, Dresden 2006
Langsamer! Gegen Atemlosigkeit, Akzeleration und andere Zumutungen. Graz, 2005
Translations (selection)
Marguerite Duras, Der Liebhaber, Frankfurt/M 1985
Marina Zwetajewa, Ein Abend nicht von dieser Welt, Prosa, Frankfurt/M 1999
Danilo Kiš: Sanduhr. novel. Munich 1988
Imre Kertész: Ich - ein anderer. Berlin 1998
Péter Nádas: Ohne Pause, Reinbek 1999

Tobias Roth

Tobias Roth c_St Weicken

Tobias Roth (born in 1985 in Munich) is a writer, translator and philologist and lives in Berlin and Munich. Since 2011 he has been editor of the Berliner Renaissancemitteilungen (Berlin Renaissance Reports) and since 2012 on the executive of the Wilhelm Müller Society. From 2013 to 2016 he worked in the German Research Foundation’s Special Research Area SFB644 Transformations of Antiquity. Prizes Roth has been awarded include a fellowship from the LCB (2010), the Wolfgang Weyrauch Promotion Prize (2013) and the Bavarian Art Promotion Prize (2015). The 1600 m long text installation Häuserzeilen (Rows of Houses) created by Roth in summer 2016 with Sophia Pompéry was sponsored by the District Office of Mitte of Berlin. As translator Roth has published translations of such writers as Bartolomeo Scappi, Giovanni Gioviano Pontano, Angelo Poliziano and Voltaire.

Bayerische Biergartenordnung (with Julius David Walther). Homunculus Verlag 2016
Aus Waben (poems). Verlagshaus Berlin 2013
Tradition: Gänge um das Füllhorn (essay). Verlagshaus Berlin 2013

Fatma Savci

Fatma Savci c_privat

Fatma Savci (born in 1974 in Mêrdîn-Nisêbîn, Turkey) joined the resistance movement for the freedom of Kurdistan when she was sixteen. Because of her political work she was arrested many times. One of the reasons she was finally convicted is because she spoke Kurdish in the courtroom. While in prison Savci wrote poems which were smuggled out and published in various newspapers and magazines. After her release in 2003 she published poems, texts and history books and worked as a journalist for cultural and literary journals and for TV channels in Turkey. She taught Kurdish for children and adults for the Kurdish Institute in Istanbul. She continued to be committed to Kurdish art and culture and spoke openly about the consequences of colonialism. Following renewed persecution she went into exile in Sweden, where she now lives and teaches Kurdish and Swedish.

Dotmara Lal. Weşanên Avesta 2013
Rojnivîsk: Ber bi Binxetê ve. Rojnivîska rojava 2012
Çîrok: Ristika Morîkan. Weşanên Avesta 2012
Pexşan: Şewq û payiz. Weşanên Avesta 2011
Bîra Birînê. Weşanên Avesta 2010
Xewnên Zîvîn. Weşanên Avesta 2007
Gulên Qasid. Weşanên Avesta 2006

Anahîta Şêxê

Anahîta Şêxê c_privat

Anahîta Şêxê (born in 1980 in Dirbesî, Syria) studied Law in Damascus and was a judge in Dirbesî for a year and a half before becoming a teacher of Kurdish. She was head of the department for social justice at the Akademiya Mezopotamiya and presented various TV shows on this topic. Texts, essays and poems by her have been published in many Kurdish and Arabic journals. Şêxê read at the Nights of Poetry and the poetry festival of the northern Syrian region of Rojava. She has written two volumes of verse which have not yet been published. Anahita Şêxê is a member of the Union of Intellectuals of West Kurdistan.

Mueyed Teyîb

Mueyed Teyîb c_C. Vald

Mueyed Teyîb (born in 1957 in Dihok, Iraq) started writing poems in 1975. He studied Law and Political Science at the University in Baghdad and has worked as a journalist, editor and programme manager for Kurdistan TV. Between 1983 and 1996 political persecution forced him to live as an asylum seeker in Sweden. On returning to Kurdistan he founded the Spîrêz Press, which he still runs. Teyîb has published six books of verse which are read in schools in Iraq. Copies of some of his poems banned by the Baath regime were circulated in the underground and they later appeared in various magazines. His poems have been translated into Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Swedish. He is a member of the Academy for the Kurdish Language and been a spokesman for the Kurdish parliamentary group in the Iraqi parliament. In 2011 he survived a car bomb attack.