The MLA apparently will present a major translation award to Dr. Michael Beard (University of North Dakota) and Adnan Haydar (University of Arkansas) for their transation of Adonis’s Mihyar of Damascas: His Songs, which was published last year by BOA.
Adonis is the pen name of Syrian poet Ali Ahmad Said, an internationally lauded poet who is regularly on the Nobel shortlist.
You can read three poems from the collection online. A small snippet:
“Here he comes from under the ruins
in the climate of new words,
offering his poems to grieving winds
unpolished but bewitching like brass.
He is a language glistening between the masts,
the knight of strange words.”
You’ll find another poem of his on Wikipedia, and links to others.
This is a must-have for my collection (if you can call it a collection when it generally dissolves and disperses now and again, as I move from here to the U.S. and back, back, back).