Sherko Bekas (left) and Mazhar Khaleqi
2 May 1940
Sulaimaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan
|Died||4 August 2013 (aged 73)|
|Occupation||Poet, painter, writer, philosopher|
|Genre||Poetry, parable, short story|
Bekas 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.
He died of cancer in Stockholm, Sweden on 4 August 2013.
Bekas was born in Iraqi Kurdistan. His father, Fayaq, was also a poet. Bekas published his first book when he was 17.
In 1971, Bekas introduced the "Rûwange" (vision) element into Kurdish poetry; this 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.
Bekas' works 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.
- Tirîfey Helbest, Salman al-Azami Publishers, Iraq, 1968.
- Kawey Asinger: Dastanêkî honrawayî sar shanoye le no tabloda, Saydiyan Publishers, Mahabad, Iran, 1971.
- Marâyâ saghírah, illustrerad by Fuad Ali, 125 pp., Al-ahâli Publishers, Damascus, Syria, 1988.
- Dall : çîrokî şê'r, Poem, 44 pp., Apec Publishers, Sweden, 1989. ISBN 91-87730-03-0
- Derbendî Pepûle: A Long Poem, 228 pp., Apec Publishers, Sweden, 1991.
- Små speglar: dikter 1978–1989. – Norsborg : Publ. House of Kurdistan, 1989. – 108 s. – ISBN 91-87096-05-6
- Les petits miroirs : poèmes, Translation of his poems in French, by Kamal Maarof, Preface by Guillevic, 95 pp., L'Harmattan Publishers, Paris, 1995. ISBN 2-7384-2059-1
- Dîwanî Şêrko Bêkes, Collection of Poems, vol. I, 992 pp., Sara Publishers, Stockholm, 1990.
- Dîwanî Şêrko Bêkes, Collection of Poems, vol. II, 843 pp., Sara Publishers, Stockholm, 1992.
- Dîwanî Şêrko Bêkes, Collection of Poems, vol. III, 551 pp., Apec Publishers, Stockholm, 1995. ISBN 91-87730-74-X
- Gulbijêrek ji helbestên (Selected Poems), 110 pp., Apec Publishers, 1991. ISBN 91-87730-28-6
- Geheimnisse der Nacht pflücken : Gedichte / aus dem Kurdischen von Reingard und Shirwan Mirza und Renate Saljoghi, 95 pp., Unionsverlag Publishers, Zürich, 1993. ISBN 3-293-00187-4
- Mêrgî zam-, mêrgî hetaw, 182 pp., Kurdistans folkförb., Stockholm, 1996. ISBN 91-972467-2-7
- Xaç û mar û roj-jimêrî şa'êrê, 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 : Şê'r. Binkey Edeb û Rûnakbîrî Gelawêj, Sulaimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan 1998.
- Çirakanî ser helemût : pexşan, Sardam Publishers, Iraqi Kurdistan, 1999.
- Piyawî la-darsew : Şê'r. Sulaimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan, 2000.
- Qesîdey Rengdan, Xak Publishing Center, Sulaimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan, 2001.
- Ezmûn: 1985–2000, Edited by Yasin Umar, Sardam Publishers, Sulaimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan, 2001.
- Jîn û Baran, Poem. Silêmanî Library, 2001.
- Ji nav Şêrên min. Avesta Publishers, Istanbul, Turkey, 2001. ISBN 975-7112-31-3.
- Xom ew wextey balindem!, 237 pp., Sardam Publishers, Sulaimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan, 2002.
- Kukuxîtya bizêweke, Children's poetry, Sardam Publishers, Sulaimaniya, 2003.
Here is one of his poems:
In the treasure of this world
From the King’s pearl ornamented trousers
To the Sultan’s gold woven garment
Or the emerald adorned court shoes of the queens
None of them did not become the symbol of love
And did not enter the museum of the people’s heart
Like Che Guevara’s casket hat
And Mandela’s simple garment
And Gandhi’s shoes