Despite many significant works and efforts in the field, Islamic literature was turned into an artifact attractive only to specialists and, until recent times, academic studies of Islamic literature have not received as much attention as they deserve in the West. A refreshing approach to the study of Ottoman and Islamic literature has recently been suggested by Prof. Walter Andrews, when he brought to us a dramatized/dramatic glimpse of the world of Ottoman poetry.

Working with University of
Michigan drama students, Turkish singers, a dancer and a musician, in association with TACAM and CMENAS, we held an Ottoman Poetry Night on September 19, 2005. 

The event integrated a lecture and presentation, a series of dramatic scenes, music from well-known Ottoman composers, and dance.  Vignettes enacting scenes from the Ottoman cultural milieu took the audience on a two-hour trip, first to the gathering of high officials, poets,  and scholars – the cultured elite – at the house of a Pasha, and then to the picnic of elite women at Kağıthane in the last half of sixteenth-century Istanbul.

Credits include:

Walter G. Andrews, composer and presenter;
Özgen Felek, producer;
Maria Howes, director;
Michael Ibrahim, musician;
Mine Özalp and Tayfun Özdemir, singers;
Darcy Guyton-hanna, dancer;
Kristin Schultes, Ricky Herbert,
Jennifer Gazdecki, Amy Julia

Cheyfitz, Natalie Malotke, Mary
Shelly, Luis Ballesteros, AJ
Dobbs, Ben Saukas, Charlie

Klecha, and Behrad Aghaie.

Photos from Ottoman Poetry Night: