March 23, 2023

Introduced by Neşe Yaşın at Işık Bookstore Nicosia

By Heidi Trautmann….

The Cyprus Artists and Writers Union was invited to a poetry event to celebrate the International Women’s Day by remembering one of the foremost Cypriot poets of the 1940s. Pembe Marmara. I had read about her in one of the bi-lingual books by Neriman Cahit “Female Poets and Writers in Turkish Cypriot Literature.

It was an animated audience that gathered on March 08th, 2023, at Işık Bookstore seated around tables of books with shelves of books in their backs, the perfect stage for such a poetry evening. The evening began with a charming concert by three musicians who brought their compositions to poems by Pembe Marmara; the songs make part of their recently published CD, see photo attached with other compositions of local poetry; I bought it and I like it very much.

Neşe Yaşın, poet and writer, whom I have interviewed for my second artbook, and come to love and respect, gave us a full insight to Pembe Marmara’s life and career as a female poet at a time when it certainly was not easy at all for a woman to put her ‘head over the rim of her plate’ as we say in German. She wrote her poetry also under pen names as you can read in her biography and published in poetry magazines. It is said that Pembe Marmara represents the Cypriotness best as a poet, and I think, I would have liked to meet her. A very sensitive woman and very emotional to judge from her poems.

After her lecture, Neşe Yaşın invited another young musician who with a beautiful voice sang two more songs composed to the poems of Pembe Marmara.

As a nice surprise, Cemay Onalt Muezzin, a member of the organising team, distributed pieces of paper with Pembe Marmara’s poems written on them, and the audience was invited to stand up and read the poems aloud, and they did with much joy. Among them were Tuğçe Tekhanlı, another young poet, and many others such as Filiz Uzun, Nilden Eminer (daughter of the late poet Necla Salih Suphi), Cemay Onalt Muezzin, and more.

I greeted some friends among the audience, Emine Demirağ, wife of late Fikret Demirağ, poet, who died in 2010, loved and always remembered; dear Tamer Öncül, poet and President of the Cypriot Turkish Artists and Writers Union, Mustafa Tozakı, musician and caricaturist, and member of the above-mentioned musical group, not to forget Nahide Merlen, owner of the Işık Bookstore, famous also for her yearly book fairs in Nicosia.

There was time to chat and meet new people around the buffet that was offered, and a glass of wine before we separated again. A lovely way to celebrate womanhood with the work of one of the many Cypriot female poets we have on the island.

To see more of my pictures please go to my Facebook page

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