Poetry. "Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine's poems speak from 1969 to the present with urgency, through an explosively anachronistic act of translation by Conor Bracken. As Khaïr-Eddine writes in 'Black Nausea,' the poems 'offer to the future this weird / fruit / which speaks in the mouths / of the thousands of innocents dead / in our black blood.' The distortive energies of Khaïr-Eddine's 'linguistic guerilla war' agitate for a politically convulsive poetry that dares to be strange, spastic and abjectly sublime. This is a return of a political surrealism when its convulsive bloom is most needed."—Johannes Göransson"No, decolonizing is not a metaphor, but it is a proposal emerging from the place where land and consciousness meet. To get closer to that place Khaïr-Eddine's SCORPIONIC SUN resists any nation state—or any reader—who would take up land or consciousness, song or bodies as mere instruments. Wisely, then, Conor Bracken's translation doesn't so much use as it delivers English into the brutal ongoingness of what Teresa Villa-Ignacio has called Khaïr-Eddine's 'seismic line.' Thus thoroughly shaken and gone we can find one another 'by a necessary association with events to come.'"—Farid Matuk"Khaïr-Eddine grabbed hold of the French language with a violent passion; he loved it ferociously, without concession, without moderation. Along with Kateb Yacine and Aimé Césaire, it is he who has done the most to rattle and enrich the language."—Tahar Ben Jelloun
Feature @ Waxwing Literary JournalExcerpt @ Poetry NorthwestExcerpt @ Bomb MagazineAM Ringwalt @ The Kenyon Review
Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine was born in 1941 near Tafraout, Southern Morocco, of Berber heritage. One of the major Francophone avant-garde poets of his generation, he is especially well-renowned for his "guerrilla linguistic," an incendiary, Surrealist-inspired, insurrectionary style of writing. AGADIR, his first full-length work, won the Jean Cocteau "Enfants terribles" prize in 1968 and was followed by numerous works of prose, poetry, and drama, including Corps négatif suivi de Histoire d'un bon dieu (1968), Soleil arachnide (1969) Moi, l'aigre (1970), Le Déterreur (1973), Une odeur de mantèque (1976), and Résurrection des fleurs sauvages (1981). One of the co-founders (with Abdellatif Laâbi) of the magazine Anfas/Souffles (Breaths), he lived in self-exile in France from 1965, returning to Morocco only in 1979. He died in Rabat on November 18, 1995, Independence Day in Morocco. Author City: PARIS FRA
Conor Bracken is the author of HENRY KISSINGER, MON AMOUR (Bull City Press) and The Enemy of My Enemy is Me (forthcoming from Diode Editions). He is also the translator of Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine's SCORPIONIC SUN (CSU Poetry Center). His work has earned fellowships from Bread Loaf, the Community of Writers, the Frost Place, Inprint, and the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and has appeared in places like BOMB, jubilat, New England Review, The New Yorker, and Ploughshares, among others. He lives in Ohio.