Central-Asian women writers

Information about Central-Asian women writers who are going to take part in the meeting arranged by Finnish PEN, in Helsinki August 18th-19th:


Aida Egemberdyeva (born 1975) is a poet as well as a researcher at Aigine Cultural Research Center. She is the author of the poetry collections Hidden Light, Dew, The Unknown Fairytale, The Soundless Melody, and scientific monographies such as The Work of Turar Kozhomberdyev, The Singers of Manas, and The Sound of Times. She is a member of the Writer's Union of Kyrgystan. Egemberdyeva was the recipient of the Ala-Too-97 festival prize, also known as the Youth Prize of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan. Egemberdyeva studies the ancient religion of the Kyrgyz people and is at work on a dissertation about Kyrgyz women's poetry.

Vera Iversen (Tokombayeva) is a journalist, writer and secretary of the Pen Club of Bishkek. She has worked for all of
Kyrgyzstan's most important newspapers, including Vetsherni Bishkek, Utro Bishkeka and Slovo Kirgistana, and for the press service of president Akayev. Currently she is working on a book about refugees to Norway, called Uroki norvezgskogo (Norwegian lessons).

Zarine Žhandosova (born 1963) is a poet and researcher. She graduated from
Leningrad university in 1985 and specializes in Middle Asian studies. She wrote her dissertation in 1998 about Afghan Studies. From 1998, she has worked as Assistant Professor at St. Petersburg University in the Middle Asian and Caucasus studies department. She has published two papers on Middle Asian and Afghan history, and a collection of poetry, A Long Trip in Moscow. Her second collection, A
Bird in a Cap
, will be published in Almaty in August 2007.

Kazakh poet, writer and artist Lilja Kalaus (born 1969 in
Alma-Ata) studied philology and Russian language and literature and worked as a Russian literature teacher. Today, she is the editor of Knigoljub literary journal and senior editor at the Iskander publishing house. She has published three collections of poetry and a novel, Krovavyj roman i drugie feministitsheskije rasskazy (Bloody Novel and Other Feminist Stories).

Svetlana Suslova is a Kyrgyz poet and translator, who could have been born in
Porkkala, Finland, if his military doctor father hadn't been transferred to the Far East immediately before. Suslova is the editor of Armeiski pedsovet magazine and vice editor of Literaturnyi Kyrgyzstan. The author of 13 published poetry collections and translator of over 30 books, she has translated to Russian from Farsi as well as Uighur and Dungan. Her poetry in turn has been translated into English, German, Spanish, Polish and Chinese.

Dalmira Tilepbergenova (born 1968) is a Kyrgyz poet and director of documentaries. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Russian language and literature from the
University of Kyrgyzstan, and proceeded to study film and TV studies at the Institute for Arts in Bishkek. She has been published in two collaborative poetry books and The Anthology of Central Asian Literature. Tilepbergenova participated in the Mukkula International Writer's Reunion in 2003. Her first film, The First Born, documents the traditional childbirth of a woman living in the mountains. Downstairs from the seventh floor (2005), on the other hand, gives a face to the March revolution.

Bubu Tokaeva (born 1970) is an author and journalist from
Kyrgyzstan. She writes prose as well as poetry and is the author of a collection called A Woman's Journal. Tokaeva also translates Russian literature into Kyrgyz and works as a journalist in the newspaper Asylzat, which is aimed at women.

Goulbara Tolomushova (born 1967) is a Kyrgyz film critic, scholar and screenwriter. Her film reviews and articles are published in scientific journals and film magazines in
Kyrgyzstan, other Middle Asian countries, and Russia. Tolomushova has also been an organizer of video art and film projects and film festivals, as well as director and host of a weekly film program on television. Her weekly radio program about film has been on the air since 2006. She is an important figure in developing and creating publicity for the Kyrgyz film industry.

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