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Bejan Matur (Turkey)

Bejan Matur was born of an Alevi Kurdish family on 14 September 1968 in southeast Turkey. Her first school was in her own village; later she attended the long-established Lyce in the region's most important cultural centre Gaziantep. These years were spent living with her sisters far from their parents. She studied Law at Ankara University, but has never practised. In her university years, she was published in several literary periodicals. Reviewers found her poetry dark and mystic. The shamanist poetry with its pagan perceptions, belonging to the past rather than the present, of her birthplace and the nature and life of her village, attracted much attention.

Her first book, Rüzgâr Dolu Konaklar (Winds Howl Through the Mansions), published in 1996, unrelated to the contemporary mainstream of Turkish poets and poetry, won several literary prizes. Her second book, Tanrý Görmesin Harflerimi (God Must Not See The Letter of My Script) (1999) was warmly greeted. Two further books appeared at the same time in 2002, Ayın Büyüttüğü Oğullar (The Sons Reared by the Moon) and Onun Çülünde (In His Desert), continuing the distinctive language and world of imagery special to herself and her poetry.

Bejan Matur, who believes there is no frontier between poetry and life, travels the world like a long-term desert nomad. She stops by Istanbul, a city she sometimes lives in.