Sunday, June 03, 2012

Big Bridge Features Fifteen Moroccan Poets

Finding translations of Moroccan poets is usually a real struggle. However now we can report that fifteen Moroccan poets are featured in Big Bridge’s starter-anthology, edited by poet-translator El Habib Louai. Their influences are at least as wide as Darwish, al-Chebbi, T.S. Eliot, and Baudelaire.

Big Bridge and its editor, Michael Rothenberg and co-editor, Terri Carrion (pictured above) are to be congratulated. Big Bridge is an amazing resource and certainly worth spending time exploring. You will find Big Bridge here.

The poems are translated by the anthology’s editor, El Habib Louai.

Links to all the poets’ work:

Boujema El AoufiIdriss Allouch
Mubarak OuassatNajat Zbair
Saad SarhanIkram Abdi
Amal Al AkhdarMustafa Radki
Jamal BdoumaAbdellatif Al Badadi, translated by El Habib Louai
El Habib LouaiAbdellatif Al Ouarari
Mahdi QerazMohamed Mahou
Bouchra Yassine

And as a little taste of the fine work....

Casablanca - Ikram Abdi

Nothing but the bodies of floating ice
Bubbles of cold greetings
Swaying over a sea of noise and boredom
But you go
Groping her tired face
With obliterated features

Caressing tufts of its canned sun
Crossing its bleeding streets
With frosty steps
With Bereaved Features
With necktie like gallows
In deserted premises

Dig in your forehead distant grooves
Awakening the lust of hugs in your interiority
But there you go....

Think of your walking death on the sidewalk
Ask about the color of your shrouds
The form of your funeral
Who will walk in it
Who will say the prayers
All the hands beseeching the roof of the bus
But there you go
You wish to utter this weakened scream
Sitting in your ethereal cafe Casablanca
The sad clouds of your coffee
Thicken in the sky of a newspaper
Suspended in your shivering hands
It is raining blood

El Habib Louai  is a fine translator.  He completed his primary and secondary school studies in his hometown Taroudant. He obtained a Baccalaureate with a focus on Lettres Modernes from Ibn Souleiman Roudani in 2004. He also earned a Bachelor in English Studies with a concentration in literature from Ibn Zohr University in Agadri, Morocco.

He is at the moment completing a master's degree in comparative studies at Ibn Zohr University in Agadir, Morocco. He is involved in various projects having to do with poetry translation. His poems were published in various international literary magazine, journals and reviews such as Danse Macabre du Jour, Palestine Chronicle, Troubadour 21, Sagarana, Istanbul Literary Review, Indigo Rising Magazine, Pirene's Fountain, the Tower Journal and Contemporary Critical Horizons.

His translation of a collection of poems by the exiled Iranian poet Ali Abdelrezaei is available in His poem "A Night in Tunisia" was translated into Italian and Romanian. His paper "Retracing the Concept of the Subaltern from Gramsci to Spivak: Historical Development and New Application" was published in the African Journal of History and Culture last January 2012.


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