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AY, Arif

Writer and poet (b. 9 December 1953, Balcı village / Bor / Niğde). He also used the pen names Eyüp Önder, Halis Emre and Musa Deniz. He attended primary and secondary schools in Ankara and then entered the Bor Şehit Nuri Pamir High School and attended lectures at Ankara University, Faculty of Theology (1971-74) and Erzurum University, Faculty of Theology (1975-78). He graduated from Gazi Insitute of Education, Department of Turkish and from Gazi University, Faculty of Educational Sciences (1988). He made his graduate studies at Gazi University, Institute of Social Sciences. His thesis was "Makeonya'da Türk Halk Edebiyatı" (Turkish Folk Literature in Macedonia, 1993). He was the chairman of the Ankara branch of the Turkish National Students’ Association (1974-76). In 1974, he worked as a library officer at the General Directorate of the Industry of Cement and Soil of Turkey. When he was the chief of the educational department at the same organization, he was appointed as the director of education to the Prime Ministry Family Research Institution. In the year 1993, leaving his counsellorship in Family Research Institution, began to work as a lecturer at Kırıkkale University, Faculty of Literature, Turkish Language and Literature Department. After his retirement, he continued his studies at Başkent University, Faculty of Literature, Department of Turkish Language and Literature in 1999.

He enjoyed his first literary delight with the lullabies that his mother sang and the stories she told him, besides the battles of Esteemed Ali and the stories of the decapitated told by his father. His first poems were published in the newspapers Bor’un Sesi and Niğde Hakimiyet, when he was at high school. After meeting with Nuri Pakdil in 1972, Ay carried on his literary studies in the review Edebiyat, which was edited by Pakdil. He worked in collaboration with his classmate Turan Koç and joined cadre of the review Edebiyat, along with famous writers and poets, such as Erdem Bayazıt, M. Akif İnan, Rasim Özdenören, Alaaddin Özdenören, Cahit Zarifoğlu, Osman Sarı and İsmail Kıllıoğlu. His first poem “Denizi Giymek“ (Putting on Sea) was published in the review Edebiyat in 1975. Between 1977 and 1984, he was the owner and responsible of this Review. After the closedown of Edebiyat, his poems, short stories and essays were published in the reviews Yedi İklim, Ayane, İkindi Yazıları, Kırağı, Kaşgar, Ünlem, Hece, Kırklar and in the newspapers Yeni Şafak, Sağduyu and Millî Gaztete. He is regarded as one of the leading poets of his generation.

About the poem Gerilla (Guerrilla) published in his first poetry book Hıra (Hıra), Konur Ertop published a critique of it in his book Emperyalizmle Savaşım (My Battle against Imperialism). Concerning this critique, Nuri Pakdil said the following in his book Biat III (Obeisance III):

HIS BOOKS

POETRY: Hıra (Hıra, 1978), Dosyalar (Dossiers, 1980), Şiirin Kandilleri (Candles of Poem, 1983), Gökyüzü Saatleri (Hours of the Sky, 1986), İmâ Kitabı (Book of Implications, 1989), Bin Yılın Destanı (Legend of a Millennium, 1992), Flowering Sky (London, 1994), Yirmi Yaş Şiirleri (Poems of Twenty Years of Age, 1995), Dokuz Kandil (Nine Candles, 1997), Dağlara Götür Beni (Take Me to the Mountains, 2000), Ateş ve Caz (Fire and Jazz, 2001).

SHORT STORY: Saat Yirmi Dörtte Saksofon Dersi (Lesson of Saxophone at Twenty Four o’clock, 1991).

ESSAY: Gece Yazıları (Articles of Night, 1991).

ANTHOLOGY: Anne Hikâyeleri (Stories of Mothers, 1991), Çocuklara Şiirler (Poems for the Children, 2001), Anne Şiirleri (Poems for Mothers, 2001).

SCENARIO: Bosna Alevler İçinde (Bosnia under Fire, cartoon).