Friday, July 23, 2010

Morocco's House of Poetry Award to Tahar Benjelloun

The 2010 Argana International Poetry Award was granted to poet and writer Tahar Benjelloun by Morocco's House of Poetry.

A statement on Tuesday by the House says the Award's jury, presided over by poet Mohamed Serghini, decided to grant this prestigious prize to Tahar Benjelloun in recognition of his talent in poetry writing and his concern over defending the noble causes of freedom, dignity and tolerance between civilizations.

Benjelloun was awarded this prize not only for his interest in promoting dialogue in the world, but also for his significant contribution to enriching Moroccan poetry, the statement said.

Benjelloun has established "a secret dialogue between novels and poems in a way that makes one feed on the other," said the jury.

The "Homme sous linceul de silence" and "Fœtus" are among Benjelloun's outstanding poetry collections. His writings touch on decisive issues such as the Palestinian cause.

The jury is made up of Larbi Messari, Abdelmajid Benjelloun, Hassan Nejmi, Abderrahmane Tankoul, Mohamed Bennani, Najib Kheddadi and Khalid Belkacem.

The Argana international poetry Award was created in 2002 by the House of Poetry in Morocco Previous winners have included the Chinese poet Bei Dao and Moroccan Mohammed Serghini.

The Argan is a unique tree which grows only in Morocco, specifically in the region south of Morocco set between the High Atlas range and the Massa basin. From afar it looks like an olive tree, but as you come closer it reveals a whole mysterious world dependent on its own.

This uniqueness in shape and fruit is what prompted us to name the award of the House of Poetry in Morocco after it.

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