Zafer Şenocak, author of poetry, novels, and numerous essays, was born in Ankara and moved to West Germany in 1970 at the age of eight. He began to publish his poetry, written in German, while studying in Munich and received literary prizes in 1984 and 1988. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Şenocak traveled and had residencies or seminars at MIT, University of Miami at Oxford, the University of California Berkeley, Dartmouth College, and Oberlin College. He is the 2015 Max Kade Writer-in-Residence at the University of Arizona’s Department of German Studies where he is participating in a graduate seminar on “Minority Discourses.”
He is currently working on a book project entitled In deinen Worten (“In Your Words”), which he began following the death of his father. Reminiscent of his other works, it explores their relationship as well as the themes of religious beliefs, transnationality, and language. The project will combine the genres of fiction, essay, and biography. Şenocak has been working on this project since 2011 because, as he puts it, “the closer you are to a subject, the harder it is to write about it”. He is also preparing a new collection of poems for publication in the near future.
Text by Patrick Ploschnitzi, MA Student, and Tara Taylor, BA Student, UA German Studies Department.