Mohamed Bennis

Mohamed Bennis

The poet’s poetry collection Wine was our Readers’ book club selection for October 2014.
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Mohamed Bennis was born in Fez, in 1948. Even at an early age he was interested in literature, particularly lyrical poetry. His university study was in the Faculty of arts at Fes and Rabat. He has taught Arabic Modern Poetry, in the Faculty of arts at the Mohammed-V Agdal University in Rabat, since 1980.

Turning toward dialogue, he translates from French language texts into Arabic, and participates in Arabic and International poetry festivals. In addition to his literary work, Bennis has been active on a politico-cultural level. In 1974, he founded the magazine “Al Thaqâfa Al Jadida” (The new Culture), which played an active role in the cultural life of Morocco until it was closed dawn by the Moroccan government in 1984 after unrest in Casablanca. In 1985 together with university professors and writers, he established the publishing house “Dar Toubkal”.

He was also the driving force behind the funding of The House of Poetry in Morocco in 1996 and became its president from 1996 to 2003. He was primarily responsible for the establishment in 2000 by UNESCO of an International day of Poetry, on March 21.

Since 1969, he published about 30 collections of verse, essays and translations in Arabic. Many poems of him was been translated and published in Catalonian, Deutsche, English, French, Italian, Japanese, Macedonian, Portuguese, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish. Several of his collections of poems was already been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Turkey and German.
Turned to the dialogue and the opening, Mohammed Bennis participated in many international meeting on poetry and culture. He had, also, translated works from French language, among which included The Wound of the Proper Name, Abdelkébir Khatibi, The Rumor of the air, collected poetry works of Bernard Noël, Tomb of Ibn Arabi, followed by 99 Stations of Yale, poetry collections and The Malady of Islam, three of Abdelwahab Meddeb, A Throw of the Dice poem of Stéphane Mallarmé, published in a bilingual edition in common with Isabella Checcaglini and Bernard Noël at Ypsilon Éditeur in Paris, in 2007, Archangélique of Georges Bataille in 2010,

Awards and distinctions
1993. The book prize in Morocco of creative writing, awarded for his collection The Gift of the void (poems).
2000. The Prize of Atlas for translation into French for his poem’s Collection River among the Mournful (poems).
2003. Chevalier des arts et des lettres, France.
2006. The Italian Prize of Calopezzati of Mediterranean Literature.
2006. An Honorary member of The International Association of Haiku in Japan.
2007. The Italian Ferronia Prize of International Literature.
2007. Al Oweis (Dubai) for his poetry works.
2010. The Maghreb Culture Prize in recognition of his outstanding literary achievements and poetry works.
2011.The Italian Chipo Prize of International Literature.

Publications in Arabic
1969, Makabla l-Kalam, (Before words) (poems);
1972, An al-ittéhad wa’l-farah (On Oppression and joy) (poems);
1974, Wajhou’n mouta’wahhijou’n abra imtidadi azzaman (Eternally Incandescent Face) (poems);
1979, Zahira ash-shi’r al-mu’asir fi l-Maghrib (The Contemporary Moroccan Poetry) (study);
1980, Fi Ittijah sawti’ka l-amoudi (Toward your vertical Voice) (poems);
1980, Al-Ism al-arabi’e l-jarih (The Clean Wound), (Blessure du nom propre) of A. Khatibi (translation);
1985, Hadathat’u assou’al (The modernity of interrogation) (essay);
1985, Mawassim’ou al-sharq, (The Monsoons of the East) (poems);
1988, Warakatou l-baha’e, (The Leaf of Splendour ) (poems);
1989-1991, Ash-sh’r al-Arabi l-hadith (Modern Arabic Poetry) (study);
1992, Hibatou l-faragh, (The Gift of the Void) (poems);
1994, Kitabou l-houb (The Book of Love) (poems);
1994, Kitanba’tu l-Mah’ou’e (The Writing of Effacement) (Texts on poetry and modernity);
1995, Hassissou l-hawa’e (Rumour of air), collected poetry works of Bernard Noël (translation);
1996, Al- Makanou l-wathani (The Pagan Place) (poems);
1996, Chataha’t li’montassafi annahar (Trances for the midday), (Texts);
1996, Hassissou l-hawa’e (Whisper of the Air), collected poetry collections of Bernard Noël (translation) ;
1998, Al-Oubou’r ila dhifa’f zarka’e (To cross to the Bleu Borders) (Texts);
1999, Qa’br ibn Arabi yali’h aya’e (Tombeau d’Ibn Arabi suivi de 99 Stations à Yale),
Tomb of Ibn Arabi, Followed by 99 Stations of Yale, two collections of Abdelawahab Meddeb (translation) ;
2000, Nahr’un bay’na jana’zatai’n (River Among the Mournful) (poems);
2002, Al-A’amalou l-chi’ria, (Poetry works);
2002, Al-Islam assia’si (The Malady of Islam) of Abdelwahab Meddeb (translation);
2003, Nabidh, (Wine) (poems); Inert Modernity (cultural journal);
2004, Al-Hadatha l-ma’atouba (A Broken down Modernity) (cultural diary);
2007, Al- Haq fi Achi’ir (Right to poetry) (essays);
2007, Hounaka tabk’a (There you stay) (poems);
2007, Rami’atou nard (A Throw of Dace), poem of Stéphane Mallarmé (translation);
2010, Al-Kodossi (The Archangelique), collection of poems of Georges Bataille (Translation);
2010, Kalamou l-jassad (Speech of the Body) (Texts);
2011, Sab’atou touyour (Seven Birds) (Poems);
2012, Ma’a asdika’e (With some friends) (Texts);
2013, Kitab annisi’ane (Le livre de l’oubli) (The book of forgetting), (translation);
2013, Ta’rikou l-midad (Chemin d’encre) (The road of ink), (translation).

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