"Relevance of poetry in our day and age” A Talk with Emel Kaya

Dr. Emel Kaya was hosted by the at the event on  "Relevance of poetry in our day and age” organized Department of Turkish and Social Sciences Education and Women and Gender Research Center of Cyprus International University (CIU) within the scope of  March 21st World Poetry Day. 

Speaking at the opening of the event held in the conference hall of CIU Çevik Uraz Center, CIU Vice Rector Prof. Dr. Gürkan Doğan noted that he is one of those who think that poetry is not a literary genre and that he believes that everything we encounter in life, such as people, situations, flows, events and relationships are all included in poetry.

Doğan stated that the world is built on uncertainty and chaos saying poetry is the only medium that will help us overcome this chaos and uncertainty.

Assist. Prof. Dr. Kaya said that March 21st  is not only the World Poetry Day but  “Today also represents the reawakening of nature and is also known as the World Forest Day and World Sparrow Day. If there is a happy and meaningful future for man, this can  only be possible by being one with nature." 

Referring to Henri Lefebvre's book The Production of Space,  Kaya pointed out that people produce their own space and perception of space according to the period they live in and stated that literature and poetry are the sources that can inform us about our own truth and the truth of the world in the midst of the abstract space and simulated world we live in today. 

In her speech, Kaya noted that in order to realize the individual and social confrontations that are covered up in various ways in the human mind manipulated by many elements, poetry must, in Kafka's words, descend on our emotions and perceptions like an ax that breaks a sea of ice.

Kaya also cited poems from her most recent  publications Disco Ball (Disko Topu) and Let the World End Here (Dünya Burada Bitsin), and stated that she did not have much hope for humanity, and added that poetry, unlike narrative-based novels and stories, opened an intuitive field, and that this intuitive field had the potential to make people go back to the point they should be.

Speaking at the end of the interview, Dean of the Faculty of Education, Prof. Dr. Halil İbrahim Yalın emphasized the sensitivity of poets and the sensitivity that Kaya developed likewise regarding the environment, nature and humans with her poetry. The event ended with Doğan and Yalın presenting a plaque and flowers to Kaya.