Hülya Yılmaz- USA

Hülya Yılmaz- USA

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Penn State, USA Liberal Arts Emerita, hülya n. yılmaz [sic] has enjoyed an extensive academic career. Advanced-level creative writing represents her primary area of teaching expertise. Her academic publications and treatises dwell on the literary reflections of cross- and inter-cultural influences – between the West and the Islamic East, in particular. yılmaz served as editorial consultant for a large number of manuscripts of national and international significance, bringing to the table her substantial experience in book evaluations, critiques, developmental editing, and literary translations.

While hülya began writing creatively in middle school and had some of her youth-poems and two short stories published in Turkey – her country of birth, her writing debut for the English-speaking public began with the publication of several of her poems in Pastiche, a local literary journal. Two of her poems were distinguished on April 15, 2017 through inclusion in a U.S.-wide poetry exhibition – Telepoem Booth. On May 25, 2018, WIN – the Writers International Network of British Colombia, Canada honored her with a poetry award. On March 1st, 2019, yılmaz performed poetry as an invited guest at the Turkish Consulate in observation of Unesco’s World Poetry Day, commemorating Attila Ilhan, a prominent Turkish poet.

yılmaz has authored Trance – a book of poetry in Turkish, German and English with her own translations; Aflame. Memoirs in Verse – a collection of poems in English; this and that – poetry in English; Canlarım. My Lifeblood (private edition) – a poetry book in Turkish and English with her own translations, and Letter-Poems from a Beloved – prose poetry in English. She has co-authored An Aegean Breeze of Peace – poems in English. hülya presented some of her poetic work in the U.S. as well as in various countries abroad, including Kosovo, Canada, Jordan and Tunisia. Her poetry has been published in an excess of 142 anthologies of global endeavors.

hülya is currently working on various book-length literary manuscripts: homeland . . . a female in the third space –poetry in Turkish and English with her own translations; Once upon a Time in Turkey . . . – a collection of short stories in English in the hybrid genre of autobiographical fiction; For the Sake of a Necklace – a novel structured as fictional autobiography, and hülya’s poems of consciousness – poetry in English. Her short prose, including feature articles, book reviews, professional prefaces, introductions, forewords and epilogues, has appeared in literary publications of national and international makeup.

yılmaz says, she finds it vital for everyone to understand a deeper sense of self and that she writes creatively to attain and nourish a more comprehensive understanding and development of our humanity.

to my African child

i, a woman of the West –
not an Anglo-Saxon, mind you!
Still, a woman of the West . . .
or so they tell me
because i look white, you see . . .

A mother of one and a grandmother of two;
blessed in childhood, youth, and old age too;
blessed to the extent that too many on Earth
are not even given the chance once to unearth.
For, i had my birth-country’s freedom and support.
As for my parents and extended family . . .
Ah, what a blessing in luxurious serenity!

When you hear me speak today in decent health
about how incredibly i have been blessed by life,
make no mistake, my little angel, i had many a plight
but none, as i sense from my being’s core, could compare
to the ordeals, trials, tribulations and ills you now face.

While i am telling you about how well-to-do i was,
i have no intent to even hint at monetary wealth –
for i did not have it then, nor do i now.
My family barely made do, but never had to bow
before any hardship life had in store for us.
Struggles were there all along. Oh, yes!
Still, my brother and i have always known we did belong.
A safe, loving and caring environment was always there,
ready and able to help us through thick and thin to bear
our world’s incongruous challenges, tests, cruel offerings.

Throughout it all, schools were aplenty.
Schools for one, schools for all.
No child was forced to prematurely fall.
For the underprivileged as well, learning was free.

You, however, my little angel, face much strife.
All along, you keep deep inside that incredible drive,
that urge to make it happen no matter what, where or how.

The times are changing, a change must come now!

Tell me, oh, please tell me, what i can do!
With all my might, i want to be there for you!

i know . . .
these are mere words,
and as such they don’t say much,
but i write all of this to you from my spirit’s core,
and my intent derives its source from the depth of my soul.

So, will you open the gate to your tender heart
and let me in?
Only then could you and i start building our learning blocks
in order to allow our spirits’ reunion to begin . . .

2 COMMENTS

  1. Dear author of the poem
    “To my African child” Hulya Yilmaz,
    First of all, I thank you for participating in this incredible event of Poetry festival 2020 in my homeland, Kosovo!
    I watched the video and loved your heartfelt poem, I have to mention that you have a very calm and soothing voice too, which makes it even more pleasant to listen to the poem. It would be a privilege for me to to hopefully have a chance to listen to you and and your other colleagues live next year!
    Sending love and respect from Canada 🇨🇦 🇽🇰

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