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The Earth Opens and Welcomes You by Abdellatif Laâbi

Featuring: Abdellatif Laâbi, Andre Naffis-Sahely

The prize-winning Moroccan poet, Abdellatif Laâbi, is widely acknowledged as being one of the most important poets writing today. Laâbi was born in Fez in 1942. He began writing in the mid-1960s, publishing his first novel in 1969. In 1966 he founded the renowned literary magazine Souffles, a journal of literature and politics that was to earn its editor an eight-year prison sentence (from 1972 to 1981) under the authoritarian reign of Hassan II. Once released from jail, Laâbi left Morocco in 1985 and has lived in Paris ever since.

Translator André Naffis-Sahely was born in Venice and raised in Abu Dhabi. He is a poet, critic and literary translator; his translations include The Bottom of the Jar by Abdellatif Laâbi (Archipelago Books, 2013), and The Barbary Figs by Rashid Boudjedra (Arabia Books, 2013). He reviews fiction and poetry for The Times Literary Supplement, The Independent and Banipal.

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