Thu, 17 June 2021
This week we are looking at the work of Abdellatif Laâbi, who is widely acknowledged to be Morocco's greatest living poet. This week the PTC publishes My Mother’s Language featuring a selection of Laâbi’s poems originally written in French with translations into English by the noted Poet and translator André Naffis-Sahely, who has just become the editor of Poetry London Magazine.
In his introduction to My Mother’s Language Naffis-Sahely details Abdellatif Laâbi’s biography, living through the end of French rule in Moroccan, then the oppressive 'Years Of Lead' that saw many dissidents and intellectuals imprisoned or disappeared. Laâbi himself was imprisoned for 8 years between 1972 and 1980, during his captivity he was tortured and deprived of medical care. Five years after his release Laabi moved to France, where he continues to live.
This week’s poems are 'My Mother’s Language', which lends its title to the new collection and 'The Earth Opens and Welcomes You' the last poem in the collection.
To get your copy of My Mother’s Language, with an afterword by Yousif M. Qasmiyeh, directly from the PTC online store, for just £7 + P&P, head to poetrytranslation.org/shop.
Thu, 3 June 2021
Shakila Azizzada was born in Kabul in Afghanistan in 1964. She now lives in the Netherlands and writes in both Dari and Dutch. Her poems are unusual in their frankness and delicacy, particularly in the way she approaches intimacy and female desire, subjects which are rarely addressed by women poets writing in Dari.
After working on the transitions with the cultural anthropologist Zuzanna Olszewska, the poet Mimi Khalvati said of Azizzada:
She is a very musical poet, tender and intimate, but also uncompromising in her political poems, and sometimes surreal – a poet of range and courage. Many of the poems, or parts of them, were relatively straightforward to translate and, perhaps because of the European influence, seemed to slip happily into English.
Shakila’s voice is not as adorned as some poetry in Farsi that I have read, and is idiomatic and sometimes humorous or satiric.
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