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Kawa Nemir

kawanemir-1Poet, short story writer, translator, and editor.

Born on 29th May 1974 in the province of Îdir (Iğdır), Nemir studied English language and literature at Hacettepe University in Ankara and at the University of Istanbul. Later he studied ancient Greek language and literature in Istanbul, but in 2002, after two years, he was expelled from university because of his activities involving Kurdish language and literature. He has left his name on many important works in Kurdish culture and literature. Between 1997 and 2003, he worked as editor-in-chief of the Kurdish monthly culture, art, and literature magazine Jiyana Rewşen, which published 52 issues, and the magazine Rewşen-Name, which published three issues. Both magazines are generally perceived as representing fundamental views of Generation 90 or Generation Rewşen, the literary disposition to which today’s most influential young poets and writers adhere. In 2003, Nemir founded the publishing house Bajar (Town), which aimed to publish Kurdish translations of world literature. After publishing a number of books, however, Bajar was forced to close for financial, non-material, and health reasons. To date, Kawa Nemir has translated into Kurdish the works of many British, American, Irish, and Turkish poets, novelists, storytellers, and dramatists, including more than 7,000 English-language poems. He has translated 100 books into Kurdish, 23 of which have been published so far. Nemir works as an editor for the publishing house Lîs. He also actively participates in the Kurdish theatre scene. His translation of Hamlet was performed by the City Theatre of Diyarbakır in 2012, in which he played the part of Hamlet, the Prince. He also wrote the theatrical adaptation of Mem and Zîn of Ahmad-i Khani, the great Kurdish poet of the 17th century. His adaptation was performed by the City Theatre of Diyarbakır in 2014. Some of his poems have been translated into English and Turkish. He has been translating James Joyce’s Ulysses since 2012. He lives in Mardin.


Short story collection:

Çavdêriyên Barbarekî (Observations of a Barbarian), Lîs Editions, 2011


Selpakfiroş (The Paper Handkerchief Seller), Rewşen-Name Editions, 2003 (second edition, Lîs Editions, 2014)

Bîşenga Deşta Dûr (The Drooping Willow of a Distant Prairie), Lîs Editions, 2006

Salname (The Yearbook), Lîs Editions, 2009

Bêdengî û Tiştên Din (Silence and Other Things), Lîs Editions, 2012

Kevirên Bendewarîyê (The Stones of Biding), Lîs Editions, 2015

His translations:

Gilgamêş û Çend Mythosên Din (Gilgamesh and Some Other Myths), mythology, Jiyana Rewşen Editions, 2000

Mirin Niqutî Dilê Firokevanekî Îrlandî (An Irish Airman Foresees His Death), William Butler Yeats, poetry, Sî Editions, 2002

Pêşengno! Lo Pêşengno! (Pioneers! O Pioneers!), Walt Whitman, poetry, Bajar Editions, 2004

Welatê Bejî û Deh Koroyên ‘The Rock’ê (The Waste Land and 10 Choruses from ‘The Rock’), T. S. Eliot, poetry, Bajar Editions, 2004

Ji Çîn û Maçînê + Hemû Berhemên Helbestî yên T. E. Hulme (From China + The Complete Poetical Works of T. E. Hulme), Ezra Pound & T. E. Hulme, poetry, Bajar Editions, 2005

Sisli Şehir (The Misty City), Jan Dost (translation of the novel Mijabad into Turkish), Beybûn Editions, 2006

Pûşpera Gêlazan (June of Cherries), Mehmet Çetin, (with Lal Laleş), poetry, Lîs Editions, 2008

The Complete Sonnets of William Shakespeare / Hemû Soneyên William Shakespeare, English-Kurdish, poetry, Lîs Editions, 2010

Diyarbakır is Waving Its Hands, Şeyhmus Diken, (a trilingual book, its translation into English and Kurdish from Turkish), city almanac, Lîs Editions & The Sur Municipality of Diyarbakır Editions, 2011

Taxa Filla (In Our Hometown), Mıgırdiç Margosyan, short story, Lîs Editions & The Sur Municipality of Diyarbakır Editions, 2011

Beth-Nahrin, Naûm Faîq (a collection of articles and essays by Naoum Faek, the famous Assyrian-Syrian intellectual and writer, Kurdish, Turkish and Asyrrian-Syrian language), articles, Lîs Editions & The Sur Municipality of Diyarbakir Editions, 2011

Ev nameya min e ji Cîhanê re (This is my letter to the World), Emily Dickinson, poetry, Lîs Editions, 2011

Hamlet, William Shakespeare, theatre, Lîs Editions, 2013

Xewna Şeveke Havînê (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), William Shakespeare, theatre, Lîs Editions, 2013

Piling (The Tyger), William Blake, poetry, Lîs Editions, 2013

Erdên Bihuştê yên Winda (The Lost Lands of Paradise), Yavuz Ekinci, the translation of a novel from Turkish into Kurdish, Doğan Kitap Editions, 2013

Tramwaya Viyanê (A Streetcar Named Desire), Tennessee Williams, theatre, The City Theatre of Diyarbakır Editions, 2013

Siwarên Reş Ji Pişta Behran Hatin (Black Riders Came From the Sea), Stephen Crane, poetry, Lîs Editions, 2014

Bartlebyê Nivîsevan (Bartleby, the Scrivener), Herman Melville, novella, Lîs Editions, 2014

Şêweyên Dîtinê (The Ways of Seeing), John Berger, art, The Cinema Academy of the Middle East Editions, 2015

Stranên Evînî (Love Songs), Sara Teasdale, poetry, Lîs Editions, 2015

Pen Li Seyrangehê (Pen in the Park), Raşel Meseri, children’s book, Habitus Kitap Editions, 2015

His awards:

Feqî Huseyn Sağnıç Language Award, 2010

Contact information:

Email address: kawanemir@gmail.com