Koerdisch-Turks dichter en James Joyce-vertaler
(Turkije, 1974) is een Koerdische dichter, schrijver van korte verhalen, vertaler en redacteur. Als hoofdredacteur van de Koerdische cultuur-, kunst- en literatuurtijdschriften Jiyana Rewşen en Rewşen-Name in de periode 1997-2003 en daarna als oprichter van de uitgeverij Bajar heeft Nemir een stempel gedrukt op belangrijke werken uit de Koerdische literatuur.
Hij vertaalde vele boeken en gedichten uit het Engels naar het Koerdisch en van het Koerdisch in het Turks. In 2019 verschijnt zijn Koerdische vertaling van Ulysses van James Joyce. Via het Nederlands Letterenfonds is hij sinds juni 2018 tijdelijk bewoner van het Amsterdam Vluchtstad-appartement in het voormalige woonhuis van Anne Frank. Nemir studeerde Engelse taal en literatuur aan de Hacettepe Universiteit in Ankara en aan de Universiteit van Istanbul.
Kawa Nemir: Kurdish poet, short story writer, translator and editor. Born on 29th May 1974 in Igdir, Nemir received his primary education there and graduated from high school in Istanbul. He studied English language and literature at Hacettepe University in Ankara and at the University of Istanbul. Later he studied ancient Greek language and literature in Istanbul, with the aim of translating Greek and Latin classics into Kurdish. But after two years, in 2002 he was expelled from university because of his activities involving the Kurdish language and literature.
In spite of his tender age and with unshakable intellectual convictions, he has left his name on many important works in Kurdish culture and literature. Between 1997 and 2003, he worked as editor-in-chief of the Kurdish monthly culture, art and literature magazine Jiyana Rewşen, which published 52 issues, and the magazine Rewşen-Name, which published three issues. Both magazines were supported by the Mesopotamia Culture Center, an important institution for Kurdish culture and literature. They both are generally perceived as to represent fundamental views of Generation 90 or Generation Rewşen, the literary tendency to which today’s most influential young Kurdish poets and writers adhere to.
In 2003, Nemir founded the publishing house Bajar (Town), which aimed to publish Kurdish translations of world literature. But after publishing fourteen Kurdish and two Turkish books, Bajar had to close for financial, non-material and health reasons.
To date, Kawa Nemir has translated into Kurdish the works of many British, American, Canadian, Irish, and Turkish poets, novelists, storytellers, and dramatists, including more than 8,000 English-language poems and 100 Kurdish short stories from Kurdish into Turkish. He has translated more than 100 books into Kurdish, most of which from English, and 24 of them have been published so far.
Among the poets, storytellers, novelists, and dramatists whose works Kawa Nemir has translated are:
William Shakespeare | Ben Jonson | Edmund Spenser | Geoffrey Chaucer | Sir Philip Sidney | Alexander Pope | John Donne | Sir Walter Raleigh | John Keats | Percy Bysshe Shelley | William Blake | Alfred Lord Tennyson | Samuel Taylor Coleridge | Charles Lamb | Robert Burns | William Wordsworth | Lord Byron | Emily Brontë | Charlotte Brontë | Elizabeth Barrett Browning | Robert Browning | Christina Rossetti | Matthew Arnold | Robert Bridges | Rupert Brooke | James Joyce and many more
Nemir actively participates in the Kurdish theatre. In 2012, his translation, Hamlet, – its world premiere was organized in Amsterdam – was performed by the City Theatre of Diyarbakir, in which he played the part of Hamlet, the King. He wrote the theatrical adaptation of the Mem and Zîn of Ahmad-i Khani, the great Kurdish poet of the 17th century and it was performed by the City Theatre of Diyarbakir in 2014. He translated the librettos of the opera Tosca by Puccini into Kurdish and it was staged in the September of 2019 in Amsterdam and some other cities.
Nemir has completed the translation of the Ulysses by James Joyce into Kurdish, which is to be published next year.
In 2010, he was awarded the Feqî Huseyn Sağnıç Language Award, which is annually given by the Kurdish Institute of Istanbul, in honour of his services to the Kurdish language, particularly for his poetry and translations from the world literature.