(Syria, 1930), the favourite poet of Rotterdam's Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, is considered a contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature. After studying philosophy in Damascus, he moved to Beirut and then Paris. His most famous volume, The Songs of Mihyar of Damascus, was published in 1961. His poems, essays, letters and interviews are often translated, especially into French. He broke with the formal structure of Arabic poetry and experimented with free verse and prose poems. In Arabic, Adonis wrote: "To write poetry in this language [...] means to unveil the invisible and reveal the abyss of absence that that distinguishes us from the unseen." In his work, he distances himself from Islam but holds up a mirror to the West, which fails to honour its thinkers and poets an thereby stands in the way of mutual understanding between East and West. His first anthology of work translated into Dutch, Wat blijft (What Remains), will come out during the festival.(2015)
Archive available for: Adonis
The most important poet working in Arabic is coming to The Hague's Schilderswijk neighbourhood. Adonis has had an enormous influence on contemporary Arabic culture, and is admired for his classic style, based on that of traditional Arabic poets, as well as for his modern ideas and critical views on Arabic society. The great poet recites his work and converses with Hassnae Bouazza. With music by the Dick van der Harst Ensemble. In Arabic
Adonis, from Syria, is considered the most important contemporary Arabic poet. His work has finally been translated into Dutch. Tonight Adonis receives the first copy of his poetry collection Wat blijft (What Remains) from Rotterdam's Mayor Aboutaleb, an avowed fan. After that, Egypt's Alaa al Aswanyfamous for The Yacoubian Building, his taboo-busting novel that stirred up the Arab worldalso presents new work in translation: The Automobile Club of Cairo. In English
At the end of the evening, let yourself be seduced by poetry from home and abroad. Listen to young poets Jeroen van Rooij and Runa Svetlikova and meet acclaimed poets like Adonis and Michael Krüger. MC Anna Luyten also introduces three nominees of the VSB Poetry Prize: Geert van Istendael, Maud Vanhauwaert and Pieter Boskma. Varied music by Dick van der Harst and his musicians will let you dream the night away. As a special commission by the festival, he sets one of Adonis' poems to music.
Poetry International and Writers Unlimited presented an evening with the famous Syrian poet Adonis on Sunday 16 June in the Central Library in The Hague. He was interviewed by Arabists and journalists Petra Stienen and Hassnae Bouazza. The interview and readings were in Arabic, with Dutch translations. YOu can watch the videoregistration here.