Orhan Pamuk gave a reading here last night, as part of a conference on writers & civil liberties. I was sorry to miss it (it was my son's birthday). I've read most of his books - still reading the most recent one (Istanbul).

Our head librarian was invited to a dinner for him, hosted by the university. I was asked to round up new copies of his books, so she could have him sign them. While I was busy doing that, a little light went on. I ran home & got one of my old homemade chapbooks, the one with the photo of the Hagia-Sophia-like dome in London (actually a chapter from Stubborn Grew, called Ancient Light). (The poem is about a visit to London, but it has a few slanting references to his home town.) I inscribed it, to Pamuk.

There are not many copies around of this chapbook. It is very rare. The Brown Library has one. Now Orhan Pamuk has my last personal copy. (This seems like a minor episode from a Pamuk novel. Which reminds me that his recent near-arrest for "insulting the Turkish state" seemed like a major episode from same.)

Though I never spoke directly to our head librarian about it, she did indeed present it to him last night. Nice to think that my obscure verses might just end up on a shelf in Pamuk's Istanbul.

No comments: