Mutlu Konuk Blasing

1944 –

Mutlu Konuk Blasing, a Turkish American poetry critic and translator, was born on June 27, 1944. She obtained her BA in English from William & Mary and went on to earn her PhD in American civilization at Brown University. 

Konuk Blasing is the author of the biography Nâzim Hikmet: The Life and Times of Turkey’s World Poet (Persea Books, 2013), as well as the critical works Lyric Poetry: The Pain and the Pleasure of Words (Princeton University Press, 2007); Politics and Form in Postmodern Poetry: O’Hara, Bishop, Ashbery, and Merrill (Cambridge University Press, 1995); American Poetry: The Rhetoric of Its Forms (Yale University Press, 1987); and The Art of Life: Studies in American Autobiographical Literature (University of Texas Press, 1977). 

Konuk Blasing, along with her husband, the poet and translator Randy Blasing, published eight translations of the Turkish poet Nâzim Hikmet’s work, most recently Letters to Taranta-Babu: a poem (Copper Beech, 2013). Their other translations of Hikmet’s writings include the novel Life’s Good, Brother (Persea Books, 2013), which was short-listed for the 2014 National Translation Award; Nâzim Hikmet: Human Landscapes from My Country (Persea Books, 2002); and Poems of Nâzim Hikmet (Persea Books, 1994). 

After many years of teaching English at Brown University, Konuk Blasing was named professor emerita. She died on August 16, 2021, at her summer home in Turkey.