The Water Alphabet: Turkish Jewish Poetry in Translation

The Water Alphabet: Turkish Jewish Poetry in Translation offers a sampling of three contemporary Jewish poets—J. Habib Gerez, Roni Margulies, and Anita Sezgener—who think, dream, and write mainly in Turkish, translated into English by guest editors Dalia Kandiyoti and Nesi Altaras. The poetry of Gerez, Margulies, and  Sezgener is a generative place to explore the complexities of Turkish national identity and literature. Despite challenges faced by the Turkish Jewish community, Jewish poets continue to live and write in Turkey. Their distinct use of the Turkish language and their engagement with the poetics of memory and authenticity both sets them apart from the literary canon while also in conversation with it. Far too often, the collective memory of Turkey and its literature has been characterized by the erasure or domestication of difference. As Sezgener puts it, one of the reasons she asserts her Jewishness in all her bios is simply to say “I am here.” Scroll down and click the links below to read the folio.