Poetry. African & African American Studies. Translated from the Arabic by Peter Thompson. From the Foreword: "Can a poem (or a book—for this is a book-length poem) be topical and at the same time make you lose your bearings? Can it refer to current events and also entertain its own event—the unpredictable reactions in its own crucible? No mistake: Loakira's poem is about Arab Spring. But the power of his images shifts the reader from the uneasy Maghreb cities and onto another scene: the breaking and making, the revolts and improbable successes of poetry.If you have lived through the tensions of Arab Spring, if your king has made adjustments (2011) to the Constitution—thus avoiding full-scale unrest—and if you've seen the insurgents and the café-bombs over the years, along with the repressions, how much do you owe to the topic (you the writer who deals with truth), and how much do you owe to the poetry that inheres in raw and visionary revolt? With Loakira both axes are operative, but the plain facts of Arab Spring act on us only to the extent that we are informed. His primary avenue to the truth of this era is instead metaphorical allusion—even while that allusion is crafted from the plain facts."
Peter is Professor of Modern Languages and Literature at Roger Williams University. He edits Ezra: An Online Journal of Translation, founded in 2007. Besides Angle of Incidence/Shades (Diálogos, 2012), his books include Daybreak and New Words, (song lyrics, 1996, 1998). More recently he has translated Léon-Paul Fargue's Poèmes (2003), Véronique Tadjo's first book of poetry, Red Earth, (2006), along with Nabile Farès's Escuchando tu historia (2008), Un Passager de l'Occident (2010), L'Exil et le désarroi (2012) and Nassira Azzouz's The Gates of The Sun (2010). His translation of Tchicaya u Tam'si's THE BELLY (Dialogos / Lavender Ink) -the first full-length translation of Tchicaya's poetry-appears in 2014.
Born in Marrakech in 1945 into a family steeped in the traditions of the Malhoun, the Mahgreb melodic poetry, Mohamed Loakira became involved in left-wing political movements and the theatre while in school. Since then his many books of poetry and four novels have been universally praised. He won the Prix Grand Atlas de la poésie in 1995 and the Prix Grand Atlas du roman francophone in 2010. ...et se voile le printemps / ...AND THE SPRING IS VEILED OVER was published in Tanger in 2015 and the English translation from Diálogos in 2018. Author City: MOR