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Poet, playwright, actor and director.

Born in Istanbul in 1953, Tarık Günersel ended his schooling in Sheboygan North High School in Wisconsin, USA, and went on to study English Literature at Istanbul University. After the military coup d’Etat in Turkey in 1980, he lived in Saudi Arabia with his wife Füsun Günersel and their daughter Barış, for four years, working for Aramco. Then he worked at Istanbul Metropolitan Theater till 2014.

TG was the president of PEN Turkey Center during 2007-2009 and 2011-2014, and a member of PEN International Board during 2010-2012.

His presentation of the idea of World Poetry Day during the PEN International Congress in 1997 led to its adoption by UNESCO as 21 March.

His book Oluşmak (Becoming) is a “lifeguide for himself” that includes ideas from world wisdom, his aphorisms, and his daughter Dr. Adalet Baris Gunersel’s poem about the future: For the New Millennium.

TG has acted on stage and screen and directed some of his plays, which include The Golden Fleece, Nero and Agrippina, Portraits, Sociology of Shit, Threat, Fate Planners, Billennium, Virtually Yours. He wrote twenty short plays for the mime artist Vecihi Ofluoğlu.

He has written the libretti of Selman Ada’s operas: Ali Baba & 40 (1988), Blue Dot (1993), Forbidden Love (2003) and Purple Planet (2013); originally in Turkish, their English versions are available. Ali Baba & 40 was translated into German by and directed by at Wuppertal Oper in Germany in 2012.

Günersel’s translations include works by Perry Anderson, Samuel Beckett, Tim Burton, Savyon Liebrecht, Arthur Miller and Goran Stefanovski.

In response to terrorism, he wrote the lyrics of No Reply composed by Terry Davies in 2003.

A comprehensive interview with tg was conducted by the American writer Dawn Kotapish and was published in World Literature Today, 2011 Jan-Feb issue.

Sampsonia Way is a Pittsburgh-USA based international online magazine dedicated to literature, freedom of expression and social justice. TG is a regular columnist:

In 2013 TG initiated an international and interdisciplinary network for Earth Civilization Project.

As for historiography, revising his previous proposol of considering the invention of writing as the turning point, he proposes to add 10,000 years in order to draw attention to climate change and embrace the richness of human adventures more fairly. Thus we could say that the Rio Olympiad took place in 12016.

T. Günersel’s new libretti include Dancing Anne Frank and Tesla for composer Daniel Galay from Israel and Dancer in Danger for composer Joanna Duda and dancer Katarzyna Pastuszak from Poland. All three are in English, the last one is partly in Esperanto thanks to Giorgio Silfer from Italy.

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