Ali F. Bilir Attended to the “Turkish Culture at FSU” Poetry Event

Ali F. Bilir attended to the “Turkish Culture at FSU” poetry event at the FSU Center for Global Engagement’s “International Bazaar 2011” at March 26, 2011. After his introductory speech, Bilir read his poems “Fearsome Game” and “Prior to Long Journeys“, as well as, “For Me” from another famous Turkish poet, Abdulkadir Bulut, in Turkish. The English versions of same poems have been presented by his daughter, Ph.D. candidate Defne Bilir.

Defne Bilir and Ali F. Bilir at the poetry event

Turkish Culture at FSU (TC at FSU) is a non-profit organization of students and other affiliates of Florida State University. TC at FSU is an organization not only for Turkish community or those of Turkish descent, but also for anyone who is interested in Turkish language, culture, and people.

“Turkish Culture at FSU” event table

Could you sew a shirt for me
Of the soils on which
We have eaten olive and bread

Could you sew a shirt for me
And make two pockets on the breast
From the mountain breeze

Could you sew a shirt for me
Out of my longing for you, which
I have felt so many years

Poet: Abülkadir Bulut
Translation: Defne Bilir – Kuzey Bilir
Edit: Mehmet Ali Sulutaş

In Memory of Susan Bright

Susan Bright and Ali Bilir
Austin poet and publisher Susan Bright with fellow poet Ali F. Bilir

Dear Friends,

I have received the sad news that my dear poet friend Susan Bright has passed away. From now on her poems full of love and hope will be our companion…

Susan Bright has been my dear poet friend since 2007. We kept in touch since then. She introduced my poetry to American readers by publishing my book ‘Migration Ballads’ with her publishing company, Plain View Press, in May 2008. This event gave me the chance to visit and meet her in person with my family in Austin, Texas. Her unique poems that reflect natural ability for use of magical language leading to universal friendship has had a magical impact on me. I’ll keep her friendship in my heart forever…

Note: Below you can read both Bright’s poem entitled “Prayer For Children of the World” and inspired from hers my poem, which I dedicated to Bright, entitled “Babies’ Know”.

Ali F. Bilir


The dead ask us to wake from our living death and look through the hole in our former reality. The path away from madness starts there. The path that led us here will not lead us away…
Alan Pogue


Prayer for the Children of the Earth

Let us all be children,
black eyes shining, blue eyes shining,
open wide to anyone, open to each other’s
Let us be adults who live justice, make peace,
love each other, forgive the past.
Let us pitch the seeds of war to tar,
so they can’t grow.
Let our children play on safe ground.
Let us repair ourselves and our governments.
Let us forgive each other.
Let us invent peaceful communities
for a living planet.
Let us all be children.
Let us shelter one another,
grieve together, cry like rain.
Let us heal the scar that came from
every horrible thing everyone has ever done.
Let us stop retaliating. Let us all be children.
Black eyes shining. Blue eyes shining.

Susan Bright

Dear Susan,

Thank you very much for the smiley and meaningful children image in your poem, “Prayer for the Children of the Earth”. My dear brother, M. Ali Sulutaş, kindly translated my poem “Bebekler Bilir” that I dedicated to you. I wish that all babies always smile.
Ali F. Bilir

Babies Know

To Susan Bright…

Babies know,
’cause they’re darlings.

Babies know,
’cause they’re flowers.

Babies know,
’cause they’re colors.

Babies know,
’cause they’re languages.

Babies know,
’cause they’re sagacious.

Babies know,
’cause they’re smiles.

Babies know,
’cause they’re babies.

Ali F. Bilir
Translated by M. Ali Sulutaş


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Plain View Press

4th International Çukurova Art Days


Ali F. Bilir and F. Saadet Bilir delivered speeches regarding poet Abdülkadir Bulut’s life and his poems at the 4th International Çukurova Art Days.

Ali F. Bilir informed audience about their two new books, “ Abdülkadir Bulut- Kasabalı Lorca” and “Kasabalı Lorca Abdülkadir Bulut’a Selam, ” which he co-authored with F. Saadet Bilir. He mentioned Bulut’s view of poetry, cross-sections from his life and examples from his poems.

F. Saadet Bilir introduced two of Bulut’s children books, “Üveyikler Göçerken” and “Sakar Tay” from Turkish language and narration stand-point. She mentioned about his prospect of children and his understanding of education. She also revealed Bulut’s less-known magazine articles.

Other guest speaker, short-story writer Mustafa B. Yalçıner talked about Bulut’s “Toroslarda Yaşam Erken Başlar” and “Sümbül Gölü’” books, with a special emphasis on the culture, nature, and people of Toros.

After the talk which took place at Silifke Egitim-Sen lounge, Bilir couple and Mustafa Yalçıner received memorial plates.


Ali and Saadet Bilir were guest speakers at Sun Radio

Ali F. Bilir and his wife F. Saadet Bilir attended a live show,  Günebakan, on one of  Mersin’s local radio stations, Sun, on Mart 26th, 2010.  In the program, which is dedicated to the National Library Week, the couple discussed the question of  “why we don’t read enough.”

Furthermore, Bilir couple announced their new books, “Abdülkadir Bulut, Kasabalı Lorca” and “Kasabalı Lorca Abdülkadir Bulut’a Selam“. Bilirs also read poems from Bulut and Karacaoğlan.

SUN Radyo fotograf

Bilir’s Poems are Published in India

Bilir`s poems are published in Thanal Online*, an India-based online magazine. The issue includes a brief review and five of Bilir`s poems from his recent book, Migration Ballads. Below is the original text from the magazine:

Poems of Ali F. Bilir: Maturity in expression

Maturity in expression is the one special feature I find in the poems of Ali F Bilir when I see the set of six poems sent to me by him for publication in thanalonline. The poem “After Long Separation “ deals with a long separation of perhaps spouses, perhaps permanent departure. The poem begins with a very statement :

Your house is still empty.
My heart is wounded.

It is very simple, but the couplet brings home an inner musical strain of sorrow. The poet dreams of seeing her again , but in vain. He comes to the mature conclusion that

Your house is still empty.
Hope is bandaging its wound.

Yes, it is all wounds in the heart. Still one has to realize the realities. “Fearsome Game” is another poem where the poet tries to explain how fighters for mankind through history have faced their to attasin immortality. They pick up thrown stones in stead of roses showered on them later by history and adorers.

I have been picking up these thrown Stones
since Spartacus.

This is a true sense of history. Poetry is and should be historical although poecy might be purely individual. “Prior to long journeys” depicts the urgent nostalgia inherent in any poet or any individual for his native place or motherland.

Looking back to my roots,
long journeys, many steps,
how gracefully my homeland
has run after me.

This is a feeling I experience always, I am not far away from my native village, still I feel foreign in the new habitation I am pushed into by circumstances and even by choice.

Maybe I will fall into
the emptiness of my youth.

What for did we walk along all the paths and lanes of life? The poet does not conclude that it was in vain, but he knows for sure that he is alone after all the journeys.

Poems in this issue

– After Long Separation
– Fearsome Game
– Prior To Long Journeys
– Silk Handkerchief
– The Brand New Day

* Thanal Online, Volume 4 , Issue 1, December 2009.

Bilir was the Guest Speaker for the BBP Poetry Reading Event

On November 10th, Ali F. Bilir attended the poetry reading event as the guest speaker, organized by Big Bend Poets (BBP), a chapter of Florida State Poets Association.


The poetry reading event started with a short speech by Bilir. After reading verses from his famous poems in both Turkish and English, Bilir answered questions by poetry lovers. Meeting concluded with poems read by amateur and professional poets. This is the second BBP poetry reading event, following his first appearance in October 2008.

Bilir’s daughter Defne Bilir, a PhD. candidate at Florida State University, served as an English translator for the event. She also recited Ali F. Bilir’s poems in English.

BBP is a North Florida based poetry society open to public. The organization’s purpose is to promote poetry to benefit the community. BBP group meets second Tuesday of each month at one of the local bookstores in Tallahassee.

Ali F. Bilir`s Poem is in Florida State Poets Association’s Anthology Twenty-Seven

Bilir`s poem “Violet Scented Nights” from his book “Migration Ballads” (Plain View Press, 2008), is in the Anthology Twenty-Seven (2009) by Florida State Poets Association, Inc.

In his poem, Bilir shares an incredible night under the vast African sky, when traveling Europe and North Africa by foot in 1967.

Violet Scented Nights

Year: 1967
An autumn wanderer,
I ached for Istanbul
as I crossed through
the Straits of Gilbraltar
in a small, worn-out fishing boat.

On a desert evening in Algeria,
I lay down on the sandals
along the Mediterranean sea
and counted falling stars
on my fingertips.

My God, how high was
the sky?
And Africa!

The night smells violet
whenever the isolation
in me is touched.

Translated by Mehmet Ali Sulutaş
Edited by Susan Bright