Last week, Moroccan poet Mohammed Bennis received the Maghreb Culture Prize in recognition of “his outstanding literary achievements and poetry works.”

So sayeth the Agence Maghreb Arab Press and the blog Reading Morocco.

Past winners of the prize include novelist Abdelkrim Ghallab (2004) and prominent writer and philosopher, Mohamed Abed El Jabri (1999).

Born in 1948 in Fez, Morocco, Bennis has been involved in the cultural life of Morocco for several decades. In 1974, he founded the magazine Attakafa El Jadida (The New Cultures) which played an active role in the cultural life of Morocco until it was banned in 1984 after unrest in Casablanca.

Bennis also has won the 1993 book prize from Morocco for his poetry collection The Gift of the Void; he received the Italian Prize of Calopezzati of Mediterranean Literature in 2006; he’s also taken home literary prizes from France and Dubai.

He’s more often translated into French and Italian, but you can read his poetry (in English) at the blog Reading Morocco or at Banipal.

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