What Writers are Reading: Tarik Günersel

by    /  May 16, 2019  / Comments Off on What Writers are Reading: Tarik Günersel

Born in Istanbul in 1953, Tarik Günersel studied English literature and worked at Istanbul Metropolitan Theater as a dramaturg, actor, and director. He contributed to the establishment of World Poetry Day and has written opera libretti for the composer Selman Ada. For five years he contributed to Sampsonia Way as a columnist focusing on Turkey related to freedom issues. He has been a weekly columnist for BirGün, a daily paper in Turkey. In addition to his works of visual and written poetry, short fiction and aphorisms, Günersel writes biographical plays, translates works into Turkish, and has translated lyrics from music albums into English. Günersel is represented by ONK Agency based in Istanbul. You can find more of his work on his website

What are you reading right now?
I’m re-re-reading Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I’m reading its various editions, related works, and its six previous Turkish translations for the utopian “finishing touches” of my translation.

Give us five current reading suggestions for the Sampsonia Way audience.
1) Human Rights in World History by Peter N. Stearns
2) The Dictionary of Alternatives: Utopianism and Organization by Martin Parker, Valerie Fournier, and Patrick Reedy
3) Alter-Globalization: Becoming Actors in the Global Age by Geoffrey Pleyers
4) The Future of the Brain edited by G Marcus and J Freeman
5) Critical Rationalism and Globalization by Masoud Mohammadi Alamuti

What stories made you want to become a writer?
Poetry and drama have been my main paths. My first literary-dramatic project was born when I was 10 in 1963, having read Mark Twain’s short story “Mrs. McWilliams and the Lightning.

What are your reading habits like? When do you read?
Anywhere, any time. Writing and reading interact fruitfully.

How does what you read inform your writing projects?
Project-oriented research and reading feeds me with knowledge and perspectives, especially when I write biographical plays, novellas and epics. Adding and subtracting pieces of info usually takes a few years — that’s why I read several books and various topics simultaneously and write various works in a multi-project mental state.

Is there anything else you want to share about your reading and writing?
My main literary project was born in 1974, a mosaic epic that will develop till my death. So I consider myself writing a single work. That’s why I refuse to count my books, which … I guess, is not a huge number anyway.


Comments are closed.