For the past decade, the Nâzım Hikmet Poetry Festival (NHPF) has been organized by a team of volunteers to serve local and international poets and poetry lovers. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the following events are being scheduled in addition to NHPF’s signature day of poetry readings and discussions:
· a concert (“Poetry & Pop: Celebrating Turkish Poetry through Music”),
· a workshop (“Reading and Writing Nâzım”),
· a free screening of The Blue Eyed Giant, an acclaimed Nâzım Hikmet biopic, and
· an evening of poetry in Turkish.
We are very fortunate to have seen the number and quality of submissions of original, unpublished poetry to the Nâzım Hikmet Poetry Competition grow with each passing year—in 2017, we received more than 150 submissions from around the world. During its first nine years, the Festival recognized and published more than 100 poets, a remarkably diverse cohort representing various states, countries, backgrounds and publishing experience. Many of our winners and honorable mentions have gone on to release their own books and place in other competitions. We strive to make NHPF, to which all winners and honorable mentions are invited so they can read their winning poems live, an opportunity for these individual artists to connect and build their own literary communities.
This year, we nominated 6 winners, honorable mentions, and long listers from the 2017 Competition for the prestigious Pushcart Prize, one of the literary world’s most sought-after honors.
The Festival also aims to place the current generation of poets honored by the Competition in an international literary context. Each year, we celebrate and remember a poet of worldwide renown through live readings in their native tongues, panel discussions, presentations and musical performances. Some of our past featured poets have included Pablo Neruda, Mahmoud Darwish, Seamus Heaney, Anna Akhmatova, Rumi and Wisława Szymborska. The invited talks given at the Festival as well as the winning poems and the poets’ bios are published and the books are available on Amazon.
In the months leading up to the Festival, Jacar Press (one of our sponsors) organizes poetry and creative workshops with award-winning writers and artists that are held in the Turkish House in Cary. The 30-40 slots available at each workshop frequently fill up far in advance!
As Turkish-Americans, we are immensely proud of the fact that through this competition alone, many poets are discovering Nâzım Hikmet for the first time and falling in love with his poetry. In addition, one of this year’s Pushcart Prize nominees was Turkish poet Arzu Karadağ.
The festival has initiated and completed several Turkish poetry translation projects, including the Divitçi Prize. Most recently, Sidney Wade and Efe Murad received the 2014 Divitçi Prize for Silent Stones: Selected Poems of Melih Cevdet Anday.
HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT US?
Submit your work or donate so we can continue to build community through poetry for years to come!
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