Sherko Bekas

Sherko Bekas (Şêrko Bêkes in Kurdish), (2 May 1940), is a prominent contemporary Kurdish poet. He was born on 2 May 1940 in Sulaimaniya in Iraqi Kurdistan as a son of the Kurdish poet Fayak Bekas. He joined the Kurdish liberation movement in 1965 and worked in the movement's radio station (the Voice of Kurdistan). He left his homeland because of political pressure from the Iraqi regime in 1986. From 1987 to 1992, he lived in exile in Sweden. In 1992, he returned to Iraqi Kurdistan.

Literary Works

Sherko Bekas takes a prominent role in the modern Kurdish literature. He introduced a new element into the Kurdish poetry, called Rûwange (vision), in 1971 which was a break from the strict traditional rules of poetry, such as Rhyme. The poems translated in "The Secret Diary of A Rose" by Reingard and Shirwan Mirza, with Renate Saljoghi, are examples of this style. For the first time, he introduced the "poster poem" (a term originating from sculpture and painting) in 1975 into the Kurdish poetry. Most of these poems are short, as small or seemingly trivial objects are conveyed into great mysteries. Everything in these poems is alive. In the beginning, thoughts are often depicted vaguely, the poet rousing the reader's curiosity and fantasy. The poem culminates in a surprising and sometimes shocking climax, in which the mystery of the poem is solved. Literary critics in the Orient called the style of such poster poems As-sahil mumtana' , as "the simple unattainable".

Sherko's works are distinguished around the Globe and have been translated into Arabic, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, Italian, French and English. In 1987, he was awarded the "Tucholsky scholarship" of the Pen club in Stockholm and in the same year he was awarded the freedom prize of the city of Florence.

A two-volume collection of his poetry works has been published in Kurdish under the title "Sherko Bekas' Diwan" in Sweden. These two 1000-page volumes contain his poetic works in their entirety. He has read his poems in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, United Kingdom, Russia, and Italy, where he was named honorary citizen of Milan. He visited United States in 1990.


  1. Tirîfey Helbest, Salman al-Azami Publishers, Iraq, 1968.
  2. Kawey Asinger : Dastanêkî honrawayî sar shanoye le no tabloda, Saydiyan Publishers, Mahabad, Iran, 1971.
  3. Marâyâ saghírah, illustrerad by Fuad Ali, 125 pp., Al-ahâli Publishers, Damascus, Syria, 1988.
  4. Dall : çîrokî şê'r, Poem, 44 pp., Apec Publishers, Sweden, 1989. ISBN 91-87730-03-0
  5. Derbendî Pepûle: A Long Poem, 228 pp., Apec Publishers, Sweden, 1991.
  6. Små speglar : dikter 1978-1989. - Norsborg : Publ. House of Kurdistan, 1989. - 108 s. - ISBN 91-87096-05-6
  7. Les petits miroirs : poèmes, Translation of his poems in French, by Kamal Maarof, Preface by Guillevic, 95 pp., L'Harmattan Publishers, Paris, 1995. ISBN 2-7384-2059-1
  8. Dîwanî Şêrko Bêkes, Collection of Poems, vol. I, 992 pp., Sara Publishers, Stockholm, 1990.
  9. Dîwanî Şêrko Bêkes, Collection of Poems, vol. II, 843 pp., Sara Publishers, Stockholm, 1992.
  10. Dîwanî Şêrko Bêkes, Collection of Poems, vol. III, 551 pp., Apec Publishers, Stockholm, 1995. ISBN 91-87730-74-X
  11. Gulbijêrek ji helbestên (Selected Poems), 110 pp., Apec Publishers, 1991. ISBN 91-87730-28-6
  12. Geheimnisse der Nacht pflücken : Gedichte / aus dem Kurdischen von Reingard und Shirwan Mirza und Renate Saljoghi, 95 pp., Unionsverlag Publishers, Zürich, 1993. ISBN 3-293-00187-4
  13. Mêrgî zam-, mêrgî hetaw, 182 pp., Kurdistans folkförb., Stockholm, 1996. ISBN 91-972467-2-7
  14. Xaç û mar û roj-jimêrî şa'êrê, A poetic novel, 374 pp., Apec Publishers, Stockholm, 1997. ISBN 91-89014-20-0
  15. The secret diary of a rose : a journey through poetic Kurdistan, Translated into English by Reingard and Shirwan Mirza ; revised by Luise von Flotow, Ashti Bibani, 1997.
  16. Bonname : Şê'r. Binkey Edeb û Rûnakbîrî Gelawêj, Sulaimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan 1998.
  17. Çirakanî ser helemût : pexşan, Sardam Publishers, Iraqi Kurdistan, 1999.
  18. Piyawî la-darsew : Şê'r. Sulaimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan, 2000.
  19. Qesîdey Rengdan, Xak Publishing Center, Sulaimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan, 2001.
  20. Ezmûn : 1985-2000, Edited by Yasin Umar, Sardam Publishers, Sulaimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan, 2001.
  21. Jîn û Baran, Poem. Silêmanî Library, 2001.
  22. Ji nav Şêrên min. Avesta Publishers, Istanbul, Turkey, 2001. ISBN 975-7112-31-3.
  23. Xom ew wextey balindem!, 237 pp., Sardam Publishers, Sulaimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan, 2002.
  24. Kukuxîtya bizêweke, Children's poetry, Sardam Publishers, Sulaimaniya, 2003.

A Poem by Sherko Bekas


The tide said to the fisherman:

There are many reasons

why my waves are in a rage.

The most important is

that I am for the freedom of the fish

and against

the net


  1. Unionsverlag, in German
  2. Biography and Works of Sherko Bekas
  3. The English Translation of Some Poems by Sherko Bekas
  4. The works of Sherko Bekas, Immigrant-institutet (in Swedish)

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