Dilawar Karadaghi is an Iraqi Kurd, born in the City of Sulaimaniyah in 1963, the year the Ba’athist Party came into its early stages of power following the coup. The coming years saw the 8-year Iran-Iraq War, Invasion of Kwait, the Gulf War, UN Sanctions, Kurdish Uprising, Exodus and Civil War, and Removal of Saddam in 2003. Karadaghi’s poems speak of events that Kurdish literature has missed or abandoned in the oily muddle of politics, wars, and the bloody battles of brothers for posts and money. Events such as a child’s death for lack of basic medication, the suddenness of coming of age, and the inexhaustible occurrences of heartbreaks humans cause each other.
Dilawar has studied Theatre in the Academy of Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad (1986). He directed his first play by the name of Master and His Servant in 1985. Karadaghi published his first collection of poems, A Statue from Rain, in 1992. Since then, Karadaghi has published nearly ten books of poetry, including his most comprehensive book, Clove Road. Dilawar is from a generation of poets and writers whose collective works can be labeled as works after the uprising. About Karadaghi’s poems, the writer and poet Bachtyar Ali has said, “His poems are extremely transparent, in the sense that his words paint a very clear picture, and yet his expressions are extremely deep to a point of overwhelming the readers in abysmal meaning; his expressions are those used in daily lives, nevertheless, there is always a sudden surrealistic leap from the language of everyday norms to a world in which its dimensions are much further from the first glimpses of the transparent picture; it is the sudden escape of simplicity from simplicity, it is the escape of reality from reality… in his poems Dilawar appears to be an ordinary person who suddenly grows a pair of surreal wings, takes flight as a traveler but never reaches a destination.”
Because of their striking vividness and simplicity, Dilawar’s poems have been used by various artists. A number of his poems have been translated into English by Kurdish poet Dr. Choman Hardi and Professor Marie LaBrosse. Polish-American professor and architect, Daniel Libeskind, recalls An Afternoon at Snowfall, one of Dilawar’s translated poems by Dr. Hardi, as one of his inspirations for designing the Anfal Museum in Erbil, Iraq. The Color of Dust written in collaboration with Nazand Begikhani has been translated into French and published in France. Also, accomplished Kurdish artist, Bahaiden, has integrated verses of Karadaghi’s poems into a series of his paintings.
Karadaghi is a member of the Swedish and Iraqi Write’s Union, and as an accomplished translator has translated over fifty books and plays from Swedish, Persian and Arabic into Kurdish, including many of Nikos Kazantzakis and Theodore Kalifatides’s notable novels. His poetic style of translation is unique to him.
His latest work is a long poetic account of the political and socioeconomic state of today’s Kurdistan, published under the title Cold and Stone with its Arabic translation by Azad Berzinji along with a study by Baxtiar Hamasur.