Roni Margulies will be living and working in Amsterdam as a Writer in Residence from Saturday 7th of June until the 15th July 2008. During his stay in the Netherlands, Margulies takes part at the Poetry International festival 2008 in Rotterdam on the 7th and 11th of June.
Roni Margulies (1954, Istanbul) describes himself as a ‘political activist, poet and economist’. He grew up in a Jewish family in Istanbul. After finishing secondary school he moved to Great Britain to study economics. After his graduation he settled in London. However his activities concerning poetry, criticism and translations are mostly done in Turkey. In 1991 his first compilation Every enjoyer of life knows was published. After this another five compilations followed. In 1994 he published poems about the lives of the ‘Young Turks’, a revolutionary political group that became famous in 1908.
Through his reviews on poetry in Turkish literary magazines, Margulies has become known as a sharp polemic. He holds the opinion that ‘all poetry is connected with taking a position: with the choosing of a position against the world, with commenting and making remarks on the web of events which as a whole shapes human lives. Not all poetry can express a position against the world, but if the poet doesn’t have an attitude, or if the poetry is not written from a desire to express a position, then poetry can’t come into existence.’ For Margulies authenticity has the priority: a blasting language or catchy images cannot take the place of authenticity.
His own poetry is inspired by daily life and historical events. Margulies’ poems tell stories that are filled with important big topics such as suppression, migration, alienation or death, but they are told trough individual perceptions of small-scale events. Besides working on poetry, Margulies translated works from Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin en Yehuda Amichai.
A selection of his poems is translated into Dutch and will be published in a compilation titled Moderne Turkse Poezie by publishing house Atlas in December 2008 (ed. Mehmet Emin Yıldırım, Mehmet Çetin, Sytske Sötemann).