Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies


Public lecture and poetry reading by the most celebrated Arab poet and critic. Accompanied by renowned poet and translator Khaled Mattawa

Thu, October 21, 2010 | Texas Union Theater

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM


Adonis was born Ali Ahmed Said in the village of Al Qassabin in Syria, in 1930. In 1956, after a year-long imprisonment for political activities, Adonis fled Syria for Beirut, Lebanon. He joined a vibrant community of artists, writers, and exiles in Beirut, and co-founded and edited Sh'ir, and later Mawaqaf, both progressive journals of poetry and politics. He studied at St. Joseph University in Beirut and obtained his Doctorat d'Etat in 1973. Considered one of the Arab world's greatest living poets, Adonis has fearlessly experimented with form and content, pioneering the prose poem in Arabic, and taking an influential, and sometimes controversial role in Arab modernism.

He is the author of numerous collections, including Mihyar of Damascus (BOA Editions, 2008), A Time Between Ashes and Roses (Syracuse University Press, 2004); If Only the Sea Could Sleep (2003); The Pages of Day and Night (2001); Transformations of the Lover (1982); The Book of the Five Poems (1980); The Blood of Adonis (1971), winner of the Syria- Lebanon Award of the International Poetry Forum; Songs of Mihyar the Damascene (1961), Leaves in the Wind (1958), and First Poems (1957). In addition to his poetry, Adonis is also an essayist, an editor of anthologies, a theoretician of poetics, and the translator of several works from French into Arabic.

Adonis's awards and honors include the Bjørnson Prize in 2007, the first ever International Nâzim Hikmet Poetry Award, the Syria-Lebanon Best Poet Award, and the Highest Award of the International Poem Biennial in Brussels. He was elected as Stephen Mallarmé Academy Member in Paris in 1983. He has taught at the Lebanese University as a professor of Arabic literature, at Damascus University, and at the Sorbonne. He has been a Lebanese citizen since 1961 and currently lives in Paris His latest work to appear in English is entitled, Selected Poems (trans. Khaled Mattawa, Yale UP, 2010.)

Khaled Mattawa is associate professor of English at the University of Michigan. He is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Tocqueville (2010), and is the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Fellowship Prize, the PEN award for literary translation, a Guggenheim fellowship, and three Pushcart prizes. He was born in Benghazi, Libya, in 1964, and emigrated to the United States when he was a teenager.

A reception and book signing will follow from 5 - 6 PM in the Santa Rita Suite (3.502).

This event is sponsored by the:

Center for Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Arabic Flagship Program
Program in Comparative Literature
Department of English
Chair in Ethnic and Third World Literatures
Department of French and Italian
Humanities Institute
College of Liberal Arts
James A. Michener Center for Writers

at the University of Texas at Austin

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