Mehmet Altun is a contemporary Kurdish/Turkish bilingual poet. Born in 1977, in Kars. He has studied about Business Administration for a few years then Archeology and Art-History and graduated as a Prehistorian in İstanbul University. And he also has an MA degree as an Ancient-Historian also from the Istanbul University, and worked at Universita di Roma “La Sapienza”, Facolta di Scienze Umanistiche, Lettere é Filosofia, Dipartimenti di Scienze Storiche Archeologiche e Antropogiche Dell’Antichita as a researcher between 2008-2009. He is currently a PhD. student in History/Ancient History (Specifically Mezopotamian Studies) Institute of Social Sciences at İstanbul University.
Altun’s poetry, articles, critics, photo-interviews, news and interviews have been published in many magazines. Like; Üç Nokta, Varlık, Öteki/Siz, Şiirden, Yasak Meyve, Radikal Kitap, Cumhuriyet Kitap, BirGün, Sabah, Voyager, Radikal…ect. In 2004, Altun was given a special mention in Yaşar Nabi Nayır Poetry Awards. He published his first book of poetry entitled Rüyamda Hayat Vardı in same year (2004), and than published his second collection Su Zılgıtları and third Yukarı Deniz in 2008. And he published his bilingual (Kurdish & Turkish) poerty book Lapis Lazuli in 2011. And two further works are forthcoming. One is a work of Translating from English to Turkish - Tarih ve Hikaye / History and Fabula – Myths and Legends in Historical Thought from Antiquity to The Modern Age and it is going to publish in January 2013. The other is an academic work which is about origin of state: Yukarı Mezopotamya’da Ortaya Çıkan Devlet’İn Temelleri ve İnşâsı / Origin of The State in Upper Mesopotamia.
Altun has worked as a journalist, archeologist and he is currently working as an editor in a publishing house and also writing literary criticism for a daily newspaper (Akşam). Also writing cultural and politic esseys for an other daily newspaper entitled BirGün.
'I like to use the languages of the various arts – literature, music, theatre...I think that is the spirit of the modern global era.'- poet Ivan Hristov spoke to SJ Fowler of 3AM magazine about the evolution of the contemporary Bulgarian poetry scene.
Cosmin Borza discusses the work of Romania's 'Generation 2000' poets, including Radu Vancu and Claudiu Komartin in an essay at Asymptote.
At the Sofia Poetics festival, which was organised by Word Express participant Ivan Hristov, Scottish based poet Ryan Van Winkle caught up with fellow festival guests SJ Fowler and Tomasz Rózycki. To hear Fowler and Rózycki discussing their work and reading some of their poetry, listen to the Scottish Poetry Library podcast here.