Poet and writer (b. 1931, Erzincan – d. 9 January 1990, İstanbul). His real name was Cemalettin Seber but he never used it in his works. Some of the pen names that he used were Adil Fırat, Ali Fakir, Birsen Sağanak, Dr. Suat Hüseyin, Hasan Basri, Genco Gümrah, Osman Mazlum and Suna Gün. He graduated from Haydarpaşa High School (1950) and Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences, Department of Public Finance (1954). He worked as an assistant inspector and inspector at the Ministry of Finance. After an interval, he resumed his office as an inspector in 1971. He retired as an advisor in the Finance Inspectorate in 1982. Between 1975-76, he served as a member of the Financial Inspection Board, Director of the Mint. In 1978, he became a member of the Ministry of Culture consultative board. After his retirement, he worked as an advisor at publishing houses and editor for encyclopedias; he also worked as a translator. He was married several times. He had a daughter named Ayça from his first wife Seniha Nemli, and a son named Memo from his third wife Zühal Tekkanat (Elif Sorgun). His other wives were Güngör Demiray and Birsen Sağnak (last wife).
The first poem of Cemal Süreya, who was one of the pioneers of the movement called the Second New, was published in the review Mülkiye (January, 1953). His later poems, critiques and essays were published in reviews such as Yeditepe, Şairler Yaprağı, Evrim, Pazar Postası, Papirüs, Yeni Dergi, Türkiye Yazıları (on which he also worked as an editor for a short time), Hürriyet Gösteri and 2000’e Doğru. He published the review Papirüs periodically (1960-61: 4 volumes; June 1966 – May 1970: 47 volumes; 1980-81: 2 volumes). Besides this, he coordinated the cultural and arts sections of the reviews Oluşum, Türkiye Yazıları, Maliye Yazıları and Saçak. He worked as a columnist for the newspapers Politika, Aydınlık, Yeni Ulus and for the reviews Yazko Somut and 2000’e Doğru. He won the Yeditepe Poetry Award with his first book Üvercinka (Uvercinka, 1958), and the Turkish Language Association Poetry Award in 1966 with his second book Göçebe (Nomad, 1965), and he collected the 1988 Behçet Necatigil Poetry Award with his books Güz Bitiği (Autumn’s Wane) and Sıcak Nal (Warm Horseshoe). Some of his books were published posthumously. A poetry award has been held in his name since 9 January 1990.
POETRY: Üvercinka (Uvercinka, 1958), Göçebe (Nomad, 1965), Beni Öp Sonra Doğur Beni (Kiss Me Then Give Birth to Me, 1973), Sevda Sözleri (Words of Endearment, poems in his first three books with some additions, 1984; new edition with poems which were not previously published in other books, 1990), Güz Bitiği (Autumn’s Wan, 1988), Sıcak Nal (Warm Horseshoe, 1988).
ESSAY: Şapkam Dolu Çiçekle (My Hat’s Full of Flowers, 1976), Günübirlik (Overnight, 1982), Onüç Günün Mektupları (Letters of Thirteen Days, letters to his wife, 1990), 99 Yüz (99 Faces - projections, 1991), 999. Gün / Üstü Kalsın (999th Day / Keep the Change, 1991), Folklor Şiire Düşman (Folklore is the Enemy of Poetry, 1992), Uzat Saçlarını Frigya (Grow Your Hair Long, Phrygia - separate edition from Günübirlik, 1992), Aydınlık Yazıları / Paçal (Articles of Illumination, articles published in newspapers and reviews, 1992), Oluşum’da Cemal Süreya (Cemal Süreya in Oluşum, 1992), Papirüs’ten Başyazılar (Editorials on Papirüs, 1992), Günler (Days, general edition of 999. Gün, 1996), Güvercin Curnatası (Pigeons’ Rosemary - conversations with Cemal Süreya, edited by Nursel Duruel, 1997), Soluğundan Öptüm Seni (I Kissed You on Your Breath - collection by Ülkü Tamer, 2003).
ANTHOLOGY: Mülkiyeli Şairler (Poets of Civil Society, 1966), 100 Aşk Şiiri (100 Poems of Love, 1967).
CHILDREN’S LITERATURE: Aritmetik İyi Kuşlar Pek İyi (Arithmetic Good, Birds Very Good- childhood memories, edited by Necati Güngör, 1993).
His collected works have been printed by Yapı Kredi Publications. Books published in this series are: Yürek ki Paramparça (Heart, Shattered - translated poems, 1995), Günler (Days, 1996), Güvercin Curnatası (Pigeons’ Rosemary - conversations with Cemal Süreya, 1997), Toplu Yazılar I / Şapkam Dolu Çiçekle ve Şiir Üzerine Yazılar (All Articles I / My Hat’s Full of Flowers and Articles on Poetry, 2000), Sevda Sözleri / Bütün Şiirleri (Words of Endearment / All Poems, 2000).