News & Events
Khaled Mattawa Organizes Tripoli International Poetry Festival
TRIPOLI INTERNATIONAL POETRY FESTIVAL
April 28-30, 2012
The Libyan capital of Tripoli holds its first international poetry festival after the end of the Qaddafi era? April 28?-?30?,? and will include poets from 12 countries?,? including Jordan?,? Palestin?e, Morocco, Britain, the U.S., Egypt, Italy, Tunisia, Syria, Algeria, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, and Libya. The festival will take place at the Dar Al-Faqih Hassan Cultural Center in the Old City of Tripoli.?
United Arab Emirates
Poets' Biographical Notes
Ashur Etwebi was born in Tripoli in 1953. He earned a bachelor’s in medicine from Tripoli University in 1980 and a doctorate from the University of Dublin in 1990. He published several works of poetry including Balcony Poems, Your Friends Passed Along This Way, River of Music, Box of Old Laughs, and On the Knowledge of Creatures and Things. He also published a novel, Dardanin, and several volumes of international poetry translated to Arabic.
Taher Riyad was born Aljiqah in Amman, Jordan in 1956. He worked in publishing until 1990 and since then has devoted himself solely to creative writing. He has published many volumes of poetry including, Wind Lust, Rituals of Folding, Lame Stick, Trees at Leisure, and He Utters According to his Whims.
Carolyn Forche (b. 1950) won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award in 1976 for her first collection, Gathering the Tribes. Her third book, The Angel of History (1994) won the Los Angeles Times book award, and her most recent book Blue Hour appeared in 2003. She is also the editor of Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness (W.W. Norton, 1993). She is now Director of the Lannan Center for Poetry and Poetics and holds the Lannan Chair in Poetry at Georgetown University.
Al-Sanussi Habib was born in 1956 in the town of Huun in southern Libya, where he received his primary education. He moved to Benghazi to study at the college of Belle Lettres at the University of Benghazi and started publishing his writings in national l newspapers and elsewhere in the Arab world, and was involved in editing the Literary Gathering from 1974-1976. The Qaddafi regime imprisoned him from 1976-1988. His published books of poetry include, On Love, Awakening, and Transgression, Trophy, and Sparks of Allowable Life.
Zakaria Mohammed was born on the outskirts of Nablus in 1951 and studied Arabic literature at the Islamic University in Al-Beida in Libya where he was imprisoned in 1973 during the Cultural Revolution and the University of Baghdad, where he completed his studies in 1975. The worked as journalist in Beirut, Amman and Damascus and editor for several years. He currently lives and works in Ramallah. Zakaria Mohammed published several books of poetry and two novels, plays, children's books, as well as important studies in anthropology.
Nujoom Al-Ghanem (born 1962 in United Arab Emirates) is a poet and filmmaker. She received a bachelor’s degree in TV production from Ohio University, and a master’s degree in cinema direction from Griffith University in Australia. Al-Ghanem has published six poetry collections, including Evening of Heaven, No Description for What I’m in, and Angels of Distant Longings. She has produced and directed four films.
Marilyn Hacker (1942) is an American poet, translator and critic. Her books of poetry include Presentation Piece (1974), which won the National Book Award, Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons (1986), and Going Back to the River (1990), Desesperanto: Poems 1999-2002 (2003), Essays on Departure: New and Selected Poems (2006). She has translated several volumes of poetry from the French by Claire Malroux, Marie Etienne, Venus Khoury Ghatta, Habib Tengour, and Amina Said. In 2009, Hacker won the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and in 2010, she received the PEN/Volcker Award for Poetry.
Abdulwahab Al-Mulawah is a Tunisian poet, journalist and playwright. He published several books of poems among them, I Am Always like This, Shreds of Solitude and the One Who Stands Alone. He also published three plays, Strange Happenings, Hot Afternoon, and Talk of the Wind.
Tony Hoagland was born in 1955 and attended Williams College, the University of Iowa, and the University of Arizona. His published works include Sweet Ruin (1992), which won the Brittingham Prize and the Zacharis Award, Donkey Gospel (1998), winner of the James Laughlin Award, What Narcissism Means to Me (2003), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty (2010). Hoagland currently teaches at the University of Houston.
Iman Mersal was born in 1966 in the village of Mit Adlan in the northern Egyptian Delta. Mersal's books include Ittisafat (Characterizations), Mamarr Mu‘tim Yasluh li Ta‘allum al-Raqs (A Dark Hallway Suitable for Dance Lessons), and al-Mashy Atwal Waqt Mumkin (Walking As Long As Possible) in 1997. Her fourth volume, Jughrafia Badila (Alternative Geography) was published in 2006. Mersal has resided in Canada where she is an assistant professor of Arabic at the University of Alberta.
Salem Al-Okley was born in the village of Lalli in the Green Mountains of Libya in 1962. He graduated from the Garyounis University school of agriculture in Al-Beida. He established the cultural journal al-Afriqui and the Derna House of Culture in the city of Derna, which he still heads. He published several volumes of poetry including A Bed at the Edge of the Funeral, Seats for Lovers, and What Laughs within US. He also published two novels, The Beard and Lalli.
Margaret Obank was born in Leeds. She studied philosophy and literature at Leeds University and linguistics at Birkbeck College. She worked in teaching and in printing and publishing for many years. Along with her husband, the Iraqi author Samuel Shimon, Obank was the driving force behind the creation of Banipal magazine, a journal exclusively devoted to publishing English translations of modern Arabic literature. The first issue of Banipal was published in February 1998, and as of 2011, there have been 42 issues.
James Byrne is the editor and co-founder of The Wolf poetry magazine. His debut collection, Passages of Time, was published by Flipped Eye in 2003. His second collection, Blood/Sugar was published by Arc in 2009. He is the co-editor of Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century, an anthology of British and Irish poets under 35. He was born in 1977 and lives in London.
Christopher Merrill has published four collections of poetry, including Brilliant Water, and Watch Fire, for which he received the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award; translations of Aleš Debeljak’s Anxious Moments and The City and the Child. Merrill has also published five volumes of non-fiction The Grass of Another Country: A Journey Through the World of Soccer, The Old Bridge: The Third Balkan War and the Age of the Refugee, Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars, Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain, and The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War. He is the director of the Iowa University Center for International Writers.
Nii Parkes was born in the UK, in 1974, and raised in Ghana. He is a performance poet, writer and sociocultural commentator. Nii runs regular workshops in the UK and has set up a Writer’s Fund in Ghana to promote writing among the country's youth. He has recorded two CDs of his spoken-word poetry, Incredible Blues and Nocturne of Phrase, and has published three chapbooks of poetry. Nii is also the Senior Editor at Flipped Eye Publishing. His debut novel, Tail of the Blue Bird, was published by Jonathan Cape in June 2009, and was shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Writers Prize.
Ulrich Schreiber (born 1951 in Solingen, Germany) is the director of the International Literature Festival in Berlin. He studied Philosophy, Politics, and Russian at the Free University in Berlin from 1973-1981. Prior to founding the Berlin festival, Schreiber founded several festivals all around Germany and Europe.
Rabee Shrair was born in 1979. He is a poet, journalist, and cultural and political activist. He headed and organized several festival and cultural institutions in his native city of Zawiya and other cultural events around Libya. He was the spokesman for the city of Zawiya and was the first to announce its independence from the Qaddafi regime during the revolution last year. He studied at the University of Tripoli and earned a bachelor’s degree in computer programming. He published one book of poetic prose texts, The Captive is the World’s Master, in 2009.
Mariam Salama is a Libyan poet and translator from Tripoli. Her latest work is a book of prose poems titled Forgotten Roses.
Jon Thompson is a professor of English at North Carolina State University where he teaches twentieth-century/contemporary American and British literature. He edits Free Verse Journal and in 2005 launched Free Verse Editions, a publisher of poetry books. His most recent volume of poetry is The Floating World, 2007.
Ahmad Al- Mulla is a poet from Saudi Arabia; he was born in 1962 in the region of Ahssa’. He published several books of poetry including A Shadow Sundered, Light and Bent Like Forgetfulness, An Arrow Whispers my Name, and The Girls Who Wrote Who We Are.
Abdulsalam Al-‘Ujaili is a Libya poet and cultural activist from Derna. He published two volumes of poetry, The Tree of Speech, and Source of the Heart’s Current.
Rasha Umran is a Syrian poet, born in Tartus in 1964. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Damascus in Arabic literature. She published several works of poetry including, A Pain in the Shape of Life, My Body Was my Refuge, Your Shadow Stretched at the End of Longing, and An Empty Red Coat. Her poems have been translated to English, French, and other European languages. She edited the Anthology of Syrian Poetry (1980-2008) and chaired the Sindian Cultural Festival.
Habib Tengour (born 1947) is French-Algerian poet, sociologist and anthropologist. He was born in Mostaganem in eastern Algeria in 1947. The Tengour family moved to France when Habib was five years old. He studied sociology in France and continued his studies in Algeria at Constantine University. Tengour writes mainly in French. His books include Tapapakitaques, la poésie-île, 1976. La Nacre à l'âme, 1981, Ce Tatar-là 2, 1999. L'Arc et la cicatrice, 2006.
Andrea Raos, who was born in Varese in 1968, currently lives in Chicago. He is a leading scholars and translators of Japanese literature in Italy. He edited the anthology of Japanese literature, Chijô no utagoe – Il coro temporaneo, 2001, was an important contribution to Japanese literary studies in Italy and won a Special Prize for Translation from the Italian Ministry of Cultural Affairs in 2002. He published several volumes of his own poetry.
Matthew Sweeney was born in Lifford, Co. Donegal in 1952, in Ireland. He lived in Berlin and Timisoara from many years before returning to Ireland. Sweeney has published not only many poetry collections for adults but also several poetry collections for children and two children’s novels. He won the Prudence Farmer Prize in 1984, the Cholmondely Award in 1999, a Henfield Writing Fellowship in 1986, and several bursaries from the Arts Councils of from arts councils in Ireland and England. Sweeney has published 15 books of poetry, the most recent volumes are Sanctuary, 2004, Stories, 2006, and Black Moon, 2007, which was nominated for the T.S. Eliot Prize.
Suad Salem is a Libyan poet who has several collections, including Coffee as it Roasts. She works in several media outlets and once edited Al-Bait magazine. She also served as consultant to Libya FM radio.
Hawa Al-Gamoudi was born in 1962 in Souq Al-Jum’a, Tripoli. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Science and Mathematics in 1983 and in Arabic language and literature in 1990 from Tripoli University. She worked on the staff of Al-Bait magazine and on the cultural folio in Al-Mu’tamar magazine. She currently edits Al-Amal magazine for children. She published several books of poetry in Libya and participated in several poetry conferences abroad.
Aisha Al-Maghribi is a Libyan poet who has published several books of poetry including, Earnest Things, Confessing my Inner Female, and Princess of Paper. She also published a dramatic text titled The Flower Seller and a book of short stories titled Delusions of Dust.
Saleh Gaderbouh was born in Benghazi in 1975. He has published three books of poetry, A Rosy Explanation of the Whiteness of the Universe, Recitations, and Kiss in a Military Airport.
Embarek Ouassat was born in 1955 in Al-Youssifiya, Morocco. He teaches philosophy in Agadir, and translates from French into Arabic. He has published several collections of poems: On the Steps of Deep Water, Full of Archipelagos The Banner of the Wind, The Hydrogen Butterfly, and The Man who Smiles for the Birds. His distinctive translations came in quick succession, poets such as Fernando Pessoa, Rene Char, and Sangour. This was in addition to his translations of Moroccan poets who wrote in French: Abd al-Latif al-Labi, Tahar Ben Jelloun, and Muhammad Khayr al-Din.
Muftah al-Amari, a Libya poet born in 1956, is the author of 18 volumes of poetry, prose, and criticism. He participated in many Arab and international poetry festival and conferences in Libya and abroad, and served as a juror in many literary contests. Among his books of poetry is The Book of Stations, A Man Who Walks the Entirety of his Solitude, A Sumptuous Funeral, and Abodes for the Wind.
Festival Organizing Committee:
Ashur Etwebi, Chair
With the cooperation from the Arete Foundation for Culture and Arts.