Adonis: Poetry is Only Written by Atheists

The Syrian poet Adonis (Ali Ahmad Said Asbar) appeared last night in one of the culminating events of the London Poetry Festival. Adonis read along with translatorStephen Watts and fellow poet Yang Lian.


Adonis at Alwan: Always More Beauty to Be Seen

Among Adonis’ recent appearances at high-profile New York City venues including the 92 Street Y and Poets House was a reading and Q&A at Alwan for the Arts in Lower Manhattan. The evening began with a brief reading from the recently published Adonis: Selected Poems, featuring new translations in English by Khaled Mattawa. The predominantly Arabic-speaking audience responded vocally to Adonis’ dramatic recitations and Mattawa’s skilled translations.

Adonis on What ‘Real Poetry’ Requires

It’s no longer Nobel season, but Adonis has a new book coming out in the U.S., so another flutter of press is to be expected. Yesterday’s piece in the NY Times followed the Syrian-French poet on a visit to a class that (his translator) Khaled Mattawa teaches at the University of Michigan.

The Under-appreciated Sargon Boulus

Sinan Antoon has a new Boulus translation in today’s Jadaliyya: “The Corpse”. Coming on the heels of the Nobel-lit three-ring circus (who will it be? it should be Adonis! it should be…!), the poem made me reflect on how little-known the towering, excellent Boulus is in English—outside of Banipal readers.