[Serkan Engin is an imagist socialist poet from Turkey who is tyring to be the voice all oppressed, despised, ignored, exploited, beaten, insulted, neglected, abused, molested humans in the World as being a fighter for their rights with his poems, poetic essays and political articles.]

SONGSOPTOK:  In your opinion, what is the relationship between life and literature? What is your own experience?
SERKAN ENGIN:  All qualified literature pieces make contribution to the personal transformation of the readers according to their power. They raise the social conscience of the readers and increase their esthetical perception deepness.

SONGSOPTOK:  Do you believe creative souls flourish more in turmoil than in peace? Why?
SERKAN ENGIN:  I think if you are creative enough you will give masterpieces both in grief and happiness.

SONGSOPTOK:   Are you a protagonist of "art for art's sake"? Can you please present us with your point of view? And do you think poetry or literature can solve any problems in our everyday life? Why should we adhere to it?

SERKAN ENGIN:   As an imagist socialist poet, of course, I support “art for society” argument.  I am trying to fight against alienation which is the main social defect of capitalism by my poems and essays on poetry theory. I write poems which can make readers emphatize with the ones who are suffering in our societies like child workers, women in brothels, street kids, salesladies, LGBTT people, pedlars, charladies, oppressed people like Kurds, Zazaki people in Turkey and people who have open wounds about Armenian Genocide, Assyrian Genocide, Pontian Greek Genocide, despised humans because of their different beliefs in Turkey like Alevi, Atheist, Christian people. We need more conscience to live in peace. Conscience can be developed by empathy, and empathy begins with recognizing the pain of the other people. We all have to develop empathy with all other people in the World who are suffering and stand behind all humans who are oppressed, ignored, despised, exploited, abused.

SONGSOPTOK:  Do you think in this age of information and technology the dimensions of literature has largely been extended beyond our preconceived ideas about literature in general?
SERKAN ENGIN:  Of course, we have more and very fast abilities to reach the readers, authors and literary journals of the other countries by internet and I think internet age made the most important social revolution in World history after industrial revolution.

SONGSOPTOKAs a poet, writer and a creative thinker; how do you respond to our present society which seems to be in a constant flux?
SERKAN ENGIN:  I believe that only more conscience can save the World, not big ideologies, big leaders, more money, more weapons or more technology, because none of tough laws can be more powerful than conscience. All artists of the World have to give art pieces which make contribution to the development of the conscience of the humans. We have got to succeed in feeling the pain of the all humans all over the World who have different ethnicity, skin colour, language, belief, ideology, gender and sexual orientation from us by refusing all kind of discrimination for peaceful coexistence in this World.

SONGSOPTOK:  Turkey has a great history - of turmoil, struggle, progress, prosperity...What is the influence of the history of your country on your own work and your creativity? We would also like to know the factors and the peoples who have influenced you in your growing phase.  What are your opinions about present day Turkey?
SERKAN ENGIN:  I admire to ancient Turkish poet Yunus Emre and Fuzuli, but especially great Kurdish poet Ahmed Arif – who had written his poems in Turkish because of the oppression on Kurdish language by Fascist Kemalist regime- made me love Poetry when I was a student in lycee. Then I have been affected by the poems of Nazim Hikmet, Ece Ayhan and Ozkan Mert. Interestingly enough, nowadays Turkish Poetry has more quality than almost all World Poetry even Turkey is an educationally backward country.

SONGSOPTOK:  Do you believe that all writers are by and large the product of their nationality? Is it an incentive or an obstacle for becoming a truly international writer?
SERKAN ENGIN:   All humans are firstly, the product of the geography, country, nationality, religion, city and family in which they had been born in, but intelectual person choose to build himself/herself  according to these properties or despite all these.  

SONGSOPTOK:   How do you evaluate your contemporaries and what are your aspirations from the younger generation?
SERKAN ENGIN:  I suggest my contemporaries and also young generation to read and think more about Poetry theories and also art history. Poetry can not be written without huge poetic knowledge. Also, all poets must have steady Poetry ethics. First of all, Poetry is an ethic issue. If you don’t have an ethic struggle, if you don’t stand tall and refuse to exploit Poetry for your dirty personal benefits, you will only be a jester playing with words.

SONGSOPTOK:  Humanity has suffered immensely in past, is still suffering around the world. We all know it well. But are you hopeful about our collective future?
SERKAN ENGIN:  I am not sure about the future stiuation of humans.

SONGSOPTOK:  What role can literature play to make our lives better on a day to day basis?
SERKAN ENGIN:   As I have already said that, only more conscience can save the World; so literature can work upon it, to bring more conscience  in our social miliue.



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