Wor(l)ds in Danger
Life is words in action, literature is action in words.

Humans are about to destroy their spaceship Earth. Some of them are aware of this and they try to change the course of events. Will they succeed? Will more humans be alarmed and do something?

Literature is vital and translators are messengers of world peace.

Though I shall focus on the literary scene in Turkey and its problems regarding freedom of expression, I shall not omit the other parts of our planet. Today local is global and vice versa.
Tarık Günersel is a poet, playwright, aphorist, librettist and short story writer. He is the president of PEN Turkey and an ex-member of the PEN International Board. He studied English Literature at Istanbul University. A self-exile after the military coup in 1980, he spent four years in Saudi Arabia with his wife Füsun and their daughter Barış, teaching English. A dramaturg at Istanbul City Theater since 1991, he has acted on stage and screen and directed some of his plays. He proposed World Poetry Day in 1997 which was accepted by PEN International and declared by UNESCO as the 21st of March. His translations into Turkish include works by Samuel Beckett, Vaclav Havel and Arthur Miller. His works include The Nightmare of a Labyrinth (mosaic of poems and stories), and How's your slavery goin'? His Oluşmak (To Become), a "life guide for myself," includes ideas from world wisdom of the past four millennia. He has recently initiated the Earth Civilization Project with the support of several intellectuals from various parts of the planet.
  • Tsunami a Visual Poem
    Let’s Liberate the American People!

    In this column, which makes use of cinematic jump cuts, Tarık Günersel writes about the dangers of a solid relationship between Erdogan’s government and the United States. From Erdogan’s “Islamofascist” views to the USA’s historic meddling in Turkey, Günersel’s critique is delivered with sharp wit.


  • Situation: A visual poem by Tarık Günersel

    The poem “Overture” is a “statement with a wish,” writes Tarık Günersel. He shares his short poem in 32 languages, including English and the Turkish original, with translations provided by fellow writers and PEN members from around the world. Günersel is PEN Turkey president.


  • Selman Ada
    Selman Ada’s Operas

    A musical genius, Selman Ada’s operas and other works display an incredible spectrum of creativity. In his column, Tarik Günersel writes about the renowned Turkish composer, conductor, pianist, and collaborator; and highlights four of the operas they’ve created together.


  • PEN International Congress 2013
    Which 9/11?

    Tarik Günersel discusses the significance of Chilean writer Antonio Skármeta’s appearance at this year’s PEN International Congress, held in Iceland September 9-12, which coincided with the 40th anniversary of the military coup in Chile, September 11, 1973.


  • Censured Picasso
    Erdocracy Censures Picasso!

    As the pro-government ATV Channel in Turkey censures a cubist painting by Picasso, Tarık Günersel thanks the group of American actors and other intellectuals for criticizing the new oppressive regime in Turkey, which he calls “Erdocracy,” a version of Islamofascism.


  • visual poem by tarik gunersel

    “Philactosophy” is Tarik Günersel’s neologism that means “love of action related to wisdom.” After the Declaration of Earth Civilization Project, he thinks about further steps.


Fearless, Ink.