Uyghur Poems - Pocket Poets



An unprecedented collection of poems spanning the rich thousand-year cultural legacy of the Uyghur people. EVERYMAN’S LIBRARY POCKET POETS.
The Uyghur minority in Central Asia have a long and glorious history of poetry, dating from the oral epics of the second century BCE through the elegant love poetry of the middle ages and up to the present moment—and most of it has never before been translated into English.

Uyghur poetry reflects the magnificent natural landscapes where the Uyghurs have lived for two millennia at the heart of the Silk Road region, with endless steppes, soaring mountain ranges, and vast deserts. Also inspiring much of their poetry is the turbulent history of the Uyghur people, often caught between warring empires or marauding warlords. Turkic, Sufi, and Persian influences shaped the poetic tradition over the centuries, and more recently the modernism of the twentieth century left its mark as well.

The Chinese government is now making a systematic attempt to erase the Uyghur language and culture, with a particular emphasis on imprisoning intellectuals. Many current Uyghur poets are now writing from exile, including the editor of this volume, Aziz Isa Elkun, who lives in London. Uyghur Poems is not only a remarkable one-volume tour of an ancient and vibrant poetic tradition but also a vital witness to a threatened culture.

Everyman's Library pursues the highest production standards, printing these pocket-sized volumes on acid-free paper, with full-cloth cases with two-color foil stamping, decorative endpapers, silk ribbon markers, European-style half-round spines, and an illustrated jacket.

Aziz Isa Elkun
AZIZ ISA ELKUN is a poet, writer, and academic on the faculty of SOAS University in London. He was born in Uyghuristan (East Turkistan/Uyghur Autonomous Region, China). He graduated from Urumchi (Xinjiang) University majoring in Russian and language. He has been living in London since 2001.