Mohammed Bennis Arabic & French
Morocco Poetry International Web Morocco

He was born in Fes, Morocco in 1948. Even at an early age he was interested in literature, particularly lyrical poetry. Since 1969 he published about 30 collections of verse and essays not in French, as is so often the case in the Maghreb, but in Arabic. Bennis's relationship to French culture is ambivalent. While he rejects the ideology of francophone policy (which for him represents a from of colonizing globalization) he does hold the French language in very high regard :" As a modern Arab poet I am committed to French culture and its modernity. The French language was the home of a poetic revolution and it gave my Arabic language a poetic strength, more valuable than any of other modern languages." This close relationship, on which Arab poets are especially dependent if they want to be read outside of their own culture, is reflected in the translations of Bennis's own works. Many poems of him was translated and published in French, Spanish, English, Deutsche, Italian, Swedish, Catalonian, Portuguese, Japanese, Slovenian and Macedonian. Several of his collections of poems have already been translated into French and Italian; among them" Le don du vide 1992, for which he received the Moroccan Literary award "Grand prix du livre" in 1993, and the prize for translation into French for his poems collection River among the mournful in 2000; In addition, Bennis has made a name for himself as the Arabic translator of Abdelwaheb Maddeb, Who writes in French, as well as the French poet Bernard Noel. Meddeb, for his part, translated Bennis's poems into French. Bennis's efforts are aimed at the modernization of Arab poetry. He ranks among the most important voices in Arab literature. The result, that so distinguishes his verse, is at once radically succinct yet with several layers of meaning. In addition to his literary work, Bennis has been active on a politico-cultural level. In 1974 he founded the magazine "Al Thaqafa Al jadida" (The new Culture), which played an active role in the cultural life of Morocco until it was banned in 1984 after unrest in Casablanca. In 1985 together with university professors and writers, he established the poetry-based publishing house "Dar Toubkal". In 1996 he became a founding member and president of "Maison de la Poesie in Casablanca" from 1996 to 2003. Bennis lives in Mohammedia and he has taught Literature at the Mohmmed V university in Rabat since 1980.


Author: Mohammed Bennis
Ban'ya Natsuishi
Translator: Ban'ya Natsuishi
Credits: 1~4: "Ginyu" No. 23, Ginyu Press, Japan, July 2004. 5~10: "Ginyu" No. 30, Ginyu Press, Japan, April 2006.


Revised Thursday, 14-Feb-2002 11:41:41 EST.
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