It was early December when the yearly Prix Goncourt for poetry was announced, but the ceremony takes place on Jan. 12 of the new year. The prize is to a “francophone” poet, although Laâbi doesn’t like the term.
In an interview with Double Change, he says that what he does is not strictly “francophone.”
“I am perfectly bi-lingual: my birth-language is Arabic, my writing language is French. Perhaps what makes what I write unique is that the two cultures are intertwined. Even when I am writing in French, my Arabic language is there. There is a musicality in Arabic, and these words enter into my French texts. I think that people are not seeing the originality of this phenomenon which is currently world wide.”
More about Laabi from Nomadics.