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 Iraqi Kurdish famous poet Sherko Bekas dies at age 73 in Sweden

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Iraqi Kurdish famous poet Sherko Bekas dies at age 73 in Sweden  4.8.2013   


Sherko Bekas  (May 2, 1940 - August 4, 2013). Photo: Archive
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August 4, 2013

STOCKHOLM, Sweden,  Sherko Bekas, a prominent contemporary Kurdish poet, passed away on Sunday in Sweden Kurds media reported. A close source from Sherko Bekas, has said the news of Bekass death. He died of cancer in Stockholm, Sweden, after few months wrestling with illness.

Bekas was the Minister of Culture in the first cabinet of Kurdistan Region Government KRG.

Sherko Bekas born on May 2, 1940. He was born on 2 May 1940 in Slman (Sulaimaniyah) in Iraqi Kurdistan as a son of the Kurdish poet Fayak Bekas.

He joined the Kurdish liberation movement in 1965 and worked in the movement's radio station (the Voice of Kurdistan). He left his homeland because of political pressure from the Iraqi regime in 1986. From 1987 to 1992, he lived in exile in Sweden. In 1992, he returned to Iraqi Kurdistan.

Sherko Bekas takes a prominent role in the modern Kurdish literature. He introduced a new element into the Kurdish poetry, called Rwange (vision), in 1971 which was a break from the strict traditional rules of poetry, such as Rhyme. The poems translated in "The Secret Diary of A Rose" by Reingard and Shirwan Mirza, with Renate Saljoghi, are examples of this style. For the first time, he introduced the "poster poem" (a term originating from sculpture and painting) in 1975 into the Kurdish poetry.


Most of these poems are short, as small or seemingly trivial objects are conveyed into great mysteries. Everything in these poems is alive. In the beginning, thoughts are often depicted vaguely, the poet rousing the reader's curiosity and fantasy. The poem culminates in a surprising and sometimes shocking climax, in which the mystery of the poem is solved. Literary critics in the Orient called the style of such poster poems As-sahil mumtana' , as "the simple unattainable".

Sherko's works are distinguished around the Globe and have been translated into Arabic, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, Italian, French and English. In 1987, he was awarded the "Tucholsky scholarship" of the Pen club in Stockholm and in the same year he was awarded the freedom prize of the city of Florence.

A two-volume collection of his poetry works has been published in Kurdish under the title "Sherko Bekas' Diwan" in Sweden. These two 1000-page volumes contain his poetic works in their entirety. He has read his poems in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, United Kingdom, Russia, and Italy, where he was named honorary citizen of Milan. He visited United States in 1990.

He has written so many poems despite of publishing some books. Sherko Bekas has also played a very significant role in the history of Kurdish Struggle.


Tirfey Helbest, Salman al-Azami Publishers, Iraq, 1968.
Kawey Asinger: Dastank honraway sar shanoye le no tabloda, Saydiyan Publishers, Mahabad, Iran, 1971.
Mary saghrah, illustrerad by Fuad Ali, 125 pp., Al-ahli Publishers, Damascus, Syria, 1988.
Dall : rok ş'r, Poem, 44 pp., Apec Publishers, Sweden, 1989. ISBN 91-87730-03-0
Derbend Peple: A Long Poem, 228 pp., Apec Publishers, Sweden, 1991.
Sm speglar: dikter 1978-1989. - Norsborg : Publ. House of Kurdistan, 1989. - 108 s. - ISBN 91-87096-05-6
Les petits miroirs : pomes, Translation of his poems in French, by Kamal Maarof, Preface by Guillevic, 95 pp., L'Harmattan Publishers, Paris, 1995. ISBN 2-7384-2059-1
Dwan Şrko Bkes, Collection of Poems, vol. I, 992 pp., Sara Publishers, Stockholm, 1990.
Dwan Şrko Bkes, Collection of Poems, vol. II, 843 pp., Sara Publishers, Stockholm, 1992.
Dwan Şrko Bkes, Collection of Poems, vol. III, 551 pp., Apec Publishers, Stockholm, 1995. ISBN 91-87730-74-X
Gulbijrek ji helbestn (Selected Poems), 110 pp., Apec Publishers, 1991. ISBN 91-87730-28-6
Geheimnisse der Nacht pflcken : Gedichte / aus dem Kurdischen von Reingard und Shirwan Mirza und Renate Saljoghi, 95 pp., Unionsverlag Publishers, Zrich, 1993. ISBN 3-293-00187-4
Mrg zam-, mrg hetaw, 182 pp., Kurdistans folkfrb., Stockholm, 1996. ISBN 91-972467-2-7
Xa mar roj-jimr şa'r, A poetic novel, 374 pp., Apec Publishers, Stockholm, 1997. ISBN 91-89014-20-0
The secret diary of a rose: a journey through poetic Kurdistan, Translated into English by Reingard and Shirwan Mirza ; revised by Luise von Flotow, Ashti Bibani, 1997.
Bonname : Ş'r. Binkey Edeb Rnakbr Gelawj, Sulaimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan 1998.
irakan ser helemt : pexşan, Sardam Publishers, Iraqi Kurdistan, 1999.
Piyaw la-darsew : Ş'r. Sulaimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan, 2000.
Qesdey Rengdan, Xak Publishing Center, Sulaimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan, 2001.
Ezmn: 1985-2000, Edited by Yasin Umar, Sardam Publishers, Sulaimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan, 2001.
Jn Baran, Poem. Silman Library, 2001.
Ji nav Şrn min. Avesta Publishers, Istanbul, Turkey, 2001. ISBN 975-7112-31-3.
Xom ew wextey balindem!, 237 pp., Sardam Publishers, Sulaimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan, 2002.
Kukuxtya bizweke, Children's poetry, Sardam Publishers, Sulaimaniya, 2003.

Sources: Agencies | Wkikipedia

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