The main themes in Şükrü Erbaş’ poetry, filled with often overlooked and ignored details, are an astonishment at nature, a rebuttal of the emotionlessness of nature, and and investigation of the way people feel when faced with nature, time and eternity. In his early poems Erbas dealt more with individual human relationships, but over time, without ever abandoning his initial path, he broadened his subject matter.
Erbas writes in a simple, spare language so that a reader who is not encumbered by prejudice or negative conditioning against poetry can connect to his poems. His lucid language constructs a bridge between the real world and poetry. With dreams, thoughts and metaphors he creates a house for a new world. While his language is often not that of daily discourse, it is also not a stranger to it. He expands the very possibilities of language. In an old interview he once spelled his method out in the following terms: “What I do is to call myself into being in language and free reality from the torment of ordinariness.” Over the 40 years of his poetic adventure, Şükrü Erbaş has changed form, style and themes but without ever abandoning the honorable struggle for a better world.
Şükrü Erbaş (1953, Yozgat) graduated from the Gazi Institute of Education Social Sciences Department. His first poem was published in Varlık magazine, in 1978. Between 1972-1998, he worked at the Turkish Grain Board (TMO). Between 1985-1988 Şükrü Erbaş was a member of the editorial board of Yarın magazine and between 1993-1999 in served at the Association of Litterateurs. His poetry books are Küçük Acılar (1984), Aykırı Yaşamak (1985), Yolculuk (1986), Kimliksiz Değişim (1992), Bütün Mevsimler Güz (1994), Dicle Üstü Ay Bulanık (1995), Kül Uzun Sürer (1996), Derin Kesik (1999), Üç Nokta Beş Harf (2001), Yalnızlık Heceleri (2003), Gölge Masalı (2005), Unutma Defteri (2007), Bağbozumu Şarkıları (2012), Pervane (2015), Yaşıyoruz Sessizce (2016) and his latest book is Kuş Uçar Kanat Ağlar (2018). The poet's newest volume will hit the shelves in 2019.
Erbas has been awarded several literary prizes, including the 1987 Ceyhun Atuf Kansu, 1996 Orhon Murat Arıburnu, 2002 Ahmed Arif, 2005 Ömer Asım Aksoy, 2013 Altın Portakal, 2015 Dağlarca and the 2018 Behçet Necatigil Poetry Award. Erbaş has also published five books of essays: İnsanın Acısını İnsan Alır (1995), Gülün Sesi Gül Kokar (1998), Bir Gün Ölümden Önce (1999), Sarkacın Kalbi (2002), Çekilme Suları (2009) and an book of interviews entitled Eşik Burcu (2010).