About Uyghur PEN

Uyghur PEN Centre Conference in Crimea 19 July 2012.

Uyghur PEN old websites:








Archive for August, 2023

  • Uyghur Poems

    Edited by Aziz Isa ElkunTranslated by Aziz Isa Elkun and othersPublished: 26/10/2023EVERYMAN’S LIBRARY POCKET POETSPenguin Random House An unprecedented collection of poems spanning the rich two-thousand-year cultural legacy of the Uyghur people of Central Asia. EVERYMAN’S LIBRARY POCKET POETS. The Uyghurs 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 medieval period and up to the present moment -and much of it has never before been translated into English. Uyghur poetry reflects the magnificent natural landscapes at the heart of the Silk Road region, with its endless steppes, soaring mountain ranges, and vast deserts, as well as its turbulent history. Turkic, Sufi, and Persian influences have shaped the poetic tradition over the centuries, and more recently the modernism of the twentieth century left its mark as well. In the face of the systematic persecution of the Uyghurs in China today, which has driven many of their poets into exile, including the editor and translator 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 POCKET POETSPenguin Random Househttps://www.penguin.co.uk/books/457502/uyghur-poems/9781841598307 Uyghur Poems Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Uyghur-Poems-Everymans-Library-Pocket/dp/1101908343 _________________________________

  • A Stone Is Most Precious Where It Belongs by Gulchehra Hoja review – a powerful testament of Uyghur persecution

    Source: The Guardian As a beautiful young TV star at the turn of the millennium, Gulchehra Hoja was highly valued by the Chinese state. She presented popular children’s programmes, was lavishly paid and mingled with influential media figures in Beijing. But by 2017, she had been designated a terrorist and placed on China’s most wanted list. The next year, 24 of her family members disappeared in a single night, into the black hole of state detention. A Stone Is Most Precious Where It Belongs is Hoja’s account of that dizzying journey from local celebrity to exiled activist living in the permanent shadow of a superpower’s revenge. It’s also a first-hand testimony of China’s persecution of its Uyghur Muslim minority, which rights groups have described as constituting “crimes against humanity” and which the US designated a genocide in 2021. Hoja grew up at China’s north-westernmost limits, in the vast arid territory that the state calls the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, but that Hoja and many other Uyghurs know as East Turkestan. In the regional capital of Urumqi, her family were “much closer to Kazakhstan than to Beijing”; they spoke Uyghur, a Turkic language written in an Arabic-derived script; followed Islam; and gathered for evenings of traditional music, dance and communal feasting. But even as a young girl, Hoja realised that “there were always two lessons to be learned: what was in the CCP-issued schoolbooks, and then the real history, literature and culture, which could only be learned from people like my father, in private settings and in low voices”. The facts of that history were so politically dangerous that within China they were erased altogether. Though the Uyghur homeland had been under Chinese military control since the 1750s, through the 19th and early 20th centuries it remained a turbulent and contested […]