Then spree

poetry & diary by Nia Davies

Tag: Istanbul

bells, bells, bells

Submerged bells, ghostly bells, rebellious bells, the fake or fading bell. Debussy, Poe, Murdoch, the greenest city in England, Ys, the East end, Istanbul, the lost flooded villages of Europe, Sheffield, Cantre’r Gwaelod. The Fin-de-Siècle, suburban disturbance, the conversations of bells, the Tempest, the Olympics, Whitechapel bell foundry, the night’s bells, deregulated time, shamanic darts of christendom.

My essay about Bells has been published in Junction Box – the Glasfryn project magazine where poets do prose. All of the above topics covered therein: http://glasfrynproject.org.uk/w/2699/nia-davies-bells/

Olympic bell

Olympic bell

Solidarity Park – poems for #resisturkey / #OccupyGezi / #direngeziparki

I fell in love with Istanbul in 2010. And then with Anatolia as a whole. It’s a deeply fascinating region for me and I have even been trying to learn Turkish over the past few years. I am  lucky enough to have visited a number of times in 2011 and 2012 and made friends with some  inspiring people –  poets and writers Gonca ÖzmenGökçenur Ç, Yaprak Öz, Efe DuyanMehmet Altun, Pelin Özer and several others as well as a number of courageous and creative publishers, activists and literary promoters. So the last two and a half weeks I have been shocked and upset by the way the police and government in Turkey have violently treated peaceful protesters speaking up for their right to public green space and against the increasingly oppressive policies of the AKP.

In response to this I got together with UK-based poets Sascha Akhtar and Sophie Mayer to found ‘Solidarity Park Poetry – poems for #ResisTurkey / #OccupyGezi’. Solidarity Park is a place where poets from around the world can show their solidarity with the verve, courage and “soul force” of the Turkish people as they struggle to own what is theirs. So far we’ve published nearly 20 poems from poets around the world and will be publishing more over the next few days and weeks. We are also fortunate to have two translators on board – Duygu Tekgul and Çağdaş Acar and the poet Gonca Özmen as our consulting editor.

If you’re a poet and you’d like to get involved please read our call-out to poets: (English) (Türkçe) and send us a poem to solidarityparkpoetry@gmail.com. And please help us spread the word if you can, we are on Facebook and Twitter: @SolidarityPark.

In solidarity and hope,
Nia
http://solidaritypark.wordpress.com

opemezsin...

Have yourself a melancholy Christmas…

Cities with a certain wintry hüzün, poverty-stricken children’s book characters, Roddy Lumsden’s grumpy thesp in Terrific Melancholy and how to survive Christmas by the radiator (books!) – a post from me on the New Welsh Review blog  (originally published in the Western Mail last year) is now available to read online at http://www.newwelshreview.com/article.php?id=416

Merry Christmas, Ernest and Celestine by Gabriel Vincent

Istanbul diary – late May

Rubbish collectors, Karaköy

Vertiginous place of twists. The vertigo in walking, loosing the way. Giant swifts cruise from the pipes.  Strait of worlds. Worlds of moving folk. For-dreamed, for-Babelled.

In Beyoğlu, under the squawk and racket of the forked-tailed birds, the human hum: parading youths, Palestinian rubbish collectors, melancholy fiddlers, beggar children armed with kazus, the neck-craned tourists. Boho meets business meets cats and geese in the bar.

That famous dilapidated colour: the overgrown greens and pinks in the rubble of ottoman chic. On the bridges tiny pieces of silver – migrating sprats – are pulled thrice a minute. Men wash before kneeling. Sonorous air, full of the calls to prayer echoing back and forth over the big blue strait.

The gardeners in Yildiz park are too sunned and skinny. Furiously planting marigolds in rapid-spreading rashes of orange, the beds freshly coloured. Too fresh. They sling their crates in the back of the van and speed off to the next star-shaped border. A sweating glasshouse; shambled and overgrown with bird of paradise plants. Through the dim cypress and pine the Bosphorus’s live blue. Peace is maintained by the police guard at the entrance.

Beneath Yildiz, Istanbul Modern is also policed. No art ushers, only G4S security guards. Guarding art, keeping out the chaos of live cultures: bodies, enzymes, fumes of food and motors, the noisy hum and lap of boat-driven waves.

Beyoglu