© Tineke de Lange
BiographyBejan Matur was born in eastern Turkey, in a provincial town with a predominantly Alevitic Kurdish population. She finished secondary school in the eastern town of Antep, and went to study law in Ankara, where she graduated and started working as a lawyer. She currently devotes all her time to writing poetry, and occasionally contributes to an internet journal.
Matur was raised with the Kurdish language, which was officially banned for many years, and the use of which is still being suppressed, and the Turkish she was taught in school. Like many poets of Kurdish origin, she writes in Turkish, although she says the sounds and rhythms of her native tongue still influence her diction. She says writing in Turkish may even benefit her poetry, because poetry, she feels, requires a ‘dead language’. Living languages create the impression of being able to describe life. But poetry is the translation of an experience from before language and outside language; it creates something which language cannot comprehend. Matur speaks from a loneliness one encounters when thinking in poetic time, outside modern experience; it intones a lament for what is lost, to the rhythm of a lost language. Her imagination has the colours of rural life in the Kurdish regions of southeastern Turkey.
(Translated by Ko Kooman)[Bejan Matur took part in the Poetry International Festival Rotterdam 2002. This text was written in 1999.]
Poems of Bejan Matur
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère