Onur Caymaz

Onur Caymaz, one of the leading names among the youngest generation of Turkish writers, was born in İstanbul in 1977. He graduated from Marmara University, in Electronic-Computer Education Department and works for an international advertising agency as a copy editor. His works have been published in Adam Sanat, Adam Öykü, Poetikus, Uç, E, Öteki-Siz, Kavram Karmaşa, Varlık, Edebiyat ve Eleştiri, Öküz, Virgül, Radikal Kitap, Cumhuriyet Kitap, Eşik Cini. His first poetry collection Kah ve Rengi won the Orhon Murat Arıburnu Poetry Competition in 2000. He continued to write poetry and stories. His poetry anthology B ak Hâlâ Çok Güzelsin ( Look, You're Still Very Beautiful) was published in 2004.

Caymaz writes about delicate, fragile sensitivities. His stories differ from those of his contemporaries in their yearning for the past. Childhood, young love and the pain of loneliness are all part of his narratives. He writes in a fluid, poetic language. When an author relies this much on the past, the melancholy mood Onur Caymaz so successfully creates is inevitable. His stories deal with love cut off too soon, separations and the emotions of unhappy youth. His literary style is often reminiscent of the 1960’s. His stories are founded on lost relationships and lost time. All these characteristics are found in his short story books: Ezilmiş Leylaklar Kitabı / Book of Crushed Lilacs (2003), Sanki Yarın Nisan / As If Tomorrow were April (2005) and Kalbin ve Tenin Bütün İstekleri / All the Desires of Heart and Body (2008), as well as his novel, Seni Hatırlatan Yıldızlar / Stars Reminiscent of You (2004). Onur Caymaz seems to have discovered a language readers can relate to easily in his last story book, All the Desires of Heart and Body. These stories are about the resilience of people living in big cities confronted by contemporary values and difficult conditions. His characters are young individuals who remain clean and pure despite the filth of the world and are torn between loves and the dilemmas imposed by their political identities. His latest poetry book Yaz Tarifesi / Summer Schedule was published in February, 2009.

 1999 Gençlik Bookstore Story Award (Hayalperistanbul)
 2000 Orhon Murat Arıburnu Poetry Award (Kah ve Rengi)
 2002 Haldun Taner Story Award (Nokta / Dot)
 2005 Behçet Aysan Poetry Award (Bak Hâlâ Çok Güzelsin / Look, You're Still Very Beautiful)
 2006 Naim Tirali Story Award (Sanki Yarın Nisan / As If Tomorrow were April)


'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.