To the Spring, by Night

A conversation between the author Seyhmus Dagtekin and translator Donald Winkler

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McGill-Queen’s is honoured to be introducing Seyhmus Dagtekin’s evocative work to an English audience for the first time. Dagtekin's To the Spring, by Night is the magical evocation of a childhood spent in a small Kurdish mountain village in Turkey, with no electricity and little literacy, but with a rich tradition of tale-telling and legend that infuses every living thing, every rock, stream, and spring with its own spirit and inner life. We follow the young protagonist as his horizons expand and share his real and imaginary fears as we come to know his isolated community, whose only contact with the outside world is through the male inhabitants' compulsory military service and the smuggling that takes them down from the heights and onto the plain below. Changing seasons, family intrigues, feast and famine, all run their course in the shadow of an imposing citadel overlooking the village, long ago abandoned by mysterious forerunners who may have left a hidden treasure behind. At a graceful pace, details emerge about the village's history until a shocking truth is revealed. Join us for a conversation between the author of To the Spring, by Night, Seyhmus Dagtekin and translator Donald Winkler. Seyhmus Dagtekin is a Kurdish poet and writer. Writing in Kurdish, Turkish, and French, he is the winner of the Mallarmé Poetry Prize, 2007, and the Théophile Gautier Poetry Prize, 2008. He lives in Paris. Donald Winkler is a prolific filmmaker and Governor General's Award-winning literary translator. He lives in Montreal.