A parade of poets

Submissions for the 9th Nâzim Hikmet Poetry Competition due January 15

By Emma Harper | January 10, 2017

Calling all poets: the 9th Nâzim Hikmet Poetry Competition, organised as a tribute to the pre-eminent Turkish poet, is open for submissions. The competition and accompanying festival, held annually in the town of Cary, North Carolina, are proof that Nâzım Hikmet Ran, once a cult figure of the Communist world, has become a poet of universal significance. Translated into more than 50 languages, Nâzım’s poetry reflects his undiminishing hope for social justice, his love of life, and his longing for his homeland – messages that have resonated with readers and writers the world over.

To be considered for the prize, poets must send in three unpublished original works. All entries must be in English. The submission deadline is January 15, 2017. Click here for more detailed information on sending in your submissions.

The idea for an event in Nâzım’s honour was conceived by a group of friends in North Carolina who admire the Turkish poet, playwright and novelist. With the encouragement of the local community, the group settled on a poetry festival that would feature Nâzım’s transcendent compositions together with work from local talents. 

Winners will receive an award of $100 and will be invited to read their poems at the 9th Nâzım Hikmet Poetry Festival, which will be held on Sunday, April 9, 2017 at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center in Cary. Winning poems will be published in the Festival anthology.

If you want to read more about Nâzım’s life, Saime Göksu’s and Edward Timms’s excellent biography, Romantic Communist: The Life and Work of Nâzim Hikmet, is a good place to start. David Barchard reviewed this ‘lucid, intelligent and formidably well-researched book’ in Cornucopia 22.

The festival is organised by the American Turkish Association of North Carolina, with the support of the Town of Cary. You can contact the organisers at contact@nazimhikmetpoetryfestival.org.

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