Kurdish literature (Kurdish: وێژەی کوردی, romanized: Wêjeya kurdî, Kurdish: ئەدەبی کوردی) is literature written in the Kurdish languages. Literary Kurdish works have been written in each of the four main languages: Zaza, Gorani, Kurmanji and Sorani. Ali Hariri (1009–1079) is one of the first well-known poets who wrote in Kurdish.[1] He was from the Hakkari region.[2]

Zazaki - Gorani literature

See also: Yarsanism § Holy texts

A manuscript of Kurdish Shahnameh from the archive of legacy committee of Vejin in Mariwan

Some of the well-known Gorani language poets and writers are Mele Perîşan (1356–1431), Shaykh Mustafa Takhtayi, Mistefa Bêsaranî (1642–1701), Muhammad Kandulayi (late 17th century), Khana Qubadi (1700–1759), Shayda Awrami (1784–1852) and Mastoureh Ardalan) (1805–1848). Zazaki and Gorani which was the literary languages of much of what today is known as Iraqi, Turkish and Iranian Kurdistan, is classified as a member of the Zaza–Gorani branch of the Northwestern Iranian languages.[3]

Kurmanji literature

See also: Yazidi literature

A Yezidi religious work, the Meshefa Reş, is in a classic form of Kurmanji[4] and it has been conjectured that it was written sometime in the 13th century. However, it has been argued that the work was actually written as late as the 20th century by non-Yazidi authors seeking to summarise the beliefs of Yezidis in a form similar to that of the holy scriptures of other religions.[5]

  1. Mela Hesenê Bateyî (1417–1495) from Hakkâri, who wrote the author of Mawlud, a collection of verse and an anthology;
  2. Salim Salman, author of Yûsif û Zuleyxa in 1586;
  3. Melayê Cizîrî (1570–1640) from Bohtan region, the famous sufi poet. His collection of poems contains more than 2,000 verses
  4. Ahmad Khani (1651–1707), the author of Mam and Zin, a long poem of 2,650 distichs, is probably the best known and most popular of the classical Kurdish poets.[6]

Sorani literature

A manuscript of Ahmadi dictionary by Shex Marof Nodê (1753-1838) from the archive of legacy committee of Vejin. This manuscript is written in 1928.

In contrast to Kurmanji, literary works in Sorani were not abundant before the late 18th century and early 19th century. Although many poets Nalî have written in Sorani,[7] but it was only after him that Sorani became an important dialect in writing.[8] Nalî was the first poet to write a diwan in this dialect. Others, such as Salim and Kurdi, wrote in Sorani in the early 19th century as well.[9] Haji Qadir Koyi of Koy Sanjaq in central Kurdistan (1817–1897), and Sheikh Reza Talabani (1835–1909) also wrote in Sorani dialect after Nalî. The closeness of the two dialects of Sorani and Kurmanji is cited as one of the reasons for the late start in Sorani literature, as well as the fact that during 15th to 19th century, there was a rich literary tradition in the Kurmanji dialect. Furthermore the presence of the Gorani dialect as a literary language and its connection to Yarsanism and Ardalan dynasty was another reason that people did not produce texts in Sorani.[7][10]

A historical list of Kurdish literature and poets

Main article: List of Kurdish people


Goranî dialect

Famous poets in Kurmancî dialect

Soranî dialect

Kurdish poets and writers of the 20th century

Celadet Bedir Khan
Nado Makhmudov

Kurdish poets and writers of the 21st century


  1. ^
    • A Kurdish grammar: descriptive analysis of the Kurdish of Sulaimaniya, Iraq By Ernest Nasseph McCarus, American council of learned societies, 1958, The University of Michigan, page 6
    • Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Volume 2 By University of London School of Oriental and African Studies, JSTOR, 1964, page 507
  2. ^ "The Kurdish Language and Literature". Institutkurde.org. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
  3. ^ J. N. Postgate, Languages of Iraq, ancient and modern, British School of Archaeology in Iraq, [Iraq]: British School of Archaeology in Iraq, 2007, p. 138.
  4. ^ Uzunoglu, Yekta (1985). "1985 - bi kurdî binivîsîne Hey lê". Yekta Uzunoglu. ku. Retrieved 2018-07-07.
  5. ^ a b YAZIDIS i. GENERAL at Encyclopædia Iranica
  6. ^ Kreyenbroek, Philip g. "KURDISH WRITTEN LITERATURE". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 2009-06-04.
  7. ^ a b Khazanedar, Maroof (2002), The history of Kurdish literature, Aras, Erbil.
  8. ^ Sajjadi Ala'edin (1951), The history of Kurdish literature, Ma'aref, Baghdad.
  9. ^ "NALÎ: Encyclopedia Iranica".
  10. ^ "Gurani: Iranica Encyclopedia".
  11. ^ "Kurdish Institute Of Brussel - Enstituya Kurdî Ya Bruskelê - Instituut Kurde De Bruxelles - Koerdisch Instuut Te Brussel". Kurdishinstitute.be. Archived from the original on October 15, 2012. Retrieved 2013-09-02.