Awarded the Prix du Maroc du Livre, one of Morocco’s most prestigious prizes, in 2019.
In his early fifties, Rachid Khaless is not just a literature professor at the prestigious Mohamed V, in Rabat, but he seems to be everywhere else: a poet, novelist, publisher, painter and translator. He is not necessarily typical of the new voice in Morocco, but his various resonances are the heart of that new voice: polymodal, transgressive, ironic and humane. Khaless’s “soaring” is metaphysical in a sense. Even putting aside the great influence of Rimbaud on North African writers in French (see Dominique Poncelet, Hédi Abdel Jaouad and others), we have the sense in Soaring and the Burst of “I” as “an other”—rather than an “I” with its everyday luggage of familiar self. While this poet seems to insist on revealing, he instead persists in marveling: at the new altitude, the new lines of sight, the new physical laws. The new phenomena are the fragments of the “burst,” objectively a new physics but more profoundly a new (“disordered” in Rimbaud’s sense) subjectivity. The value of this work—beyond its startling imagery—is its extensive exploration of sense and sensibility without exploiting either the social world or a cloying introspection.
Poetry, Literary Criticism, History, African & African American Studies, Middle Eastern Studies.
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.
Author City: USA
Rachid Khaless's books include four collections of poetry: Cantiques du désert (L'Harmattan, 2004), Dissidences (L'Harmattan, 2009), Dans le Désir de durer (the Maison de la Poésie au Maroc, 2014), and Guerre totale and Vols, l'éclat (Virgule Editions, 2018), which won the Moroccan Book Prize in 2019. In 2015, Khaless published two novels: Pour qu'Allah aime Lou Lou (Editions Marsam), and Quand Adam a décidé de vivre, (La Croisée des Chemins). Absolut hob was published by Virgule Editions in 2016. Rachid Khaless has notably translated the texts of the poet Hassan Najmi, Un Mal comme l'amour (La Croisée des Chemins, 2016), Yves Bonnefoy, Que ce monde demeure (Maison de la Poésie au Maroc, 2014) and Saâdi Youssef, Poèmes de Tanger, (Virgule Editions, 2018). He holds a doctorate in French literature and is professor at Mohamed V University in Rabat.
Author City: Rabat MOR