Ilhan’s birthday reading, 8 March 2021

Here is the link to the birthday reading held to celebrate Ilhan’s birthday on 8 March 2021.

Jointly organised by PEN Norway and Wales PEN Cymru, we were joined by poets and musicians from all around the world to celebrate Ilhan’s poetry, his spirit and his family.

Ilhan  Sami Çomak Birthday Reading 2021


Caryl Bryn reads Ilhan’s poem ‘Things that are not Here’ in Welsh to a piece for harp composed for Ilhan by Shelley Musker Turner

Introduction by PEN Norway’s Turkey Adviser Caroline Stockford

Message from Ilhan’s mother & Ipek Özel


Alice Oswald reads ‘Trial of the Soul by Physics’

Menna Elfyn, President, Wales PEN Cymru reads “Wild Ponies’

New Zealand poet Sophia Wilson reads ‘The Captive’s Song’

Liz McManus of Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann reads ‘To Ilhan’

Norwegian poet Aasne Linnestå reads Ilhan’s poem “I Came to you, Life’

Member of Turkish Authors’ Union, Hakkı Zariç, speaks about Ilhan’s work

Turkish poet Nilay Özer reads Ilhan’s poem ‘What good is reading Poetry?’


Jeffrey Cyphers Wright reads ‘Star Harbour’

Lee Herrick reads ‘In a Daydream’

Haleh Liza Gafori reads ‘Lit by Lightening’

Caroline Stockford thanks all participants

Kurdish folk singer (and Ilhan’s cousin) Suna Alan’s song, ‘The Ivy’

Screening of Øivind Hånes and Karsten Brustad’s 

video and operatic rendition of Ilhan’s poems                              

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