He was born in Fes, Morocco in 1948. Even
at an early age he was interested in literature,
particularly lyrical poetry. Since 1969 he
published about 30 collections of verse and
essays not in French, as is so often the
case in the Maghreb, but in Arabic. Bennis's
relationship to French culture is ambivalent.
While he rejects the ideology of francophone
policy (which for him represents a from of
colonizing globalization) he does hold the
French language in very high regard :"
As a modern Arab poet I am committed to French
culture and its modernity. The French language
was the home of a poetic revolution and it
gave my Arabic language a poetic strength,
more valuable than any of other modern languages."
This close relationship, on which Arab poets
are especially dependent if they want to
be read outside of their own culture, is
reflected in the translations of Bennis's
own works. Many poems of him was translated
and published in French, Spanish, English,
Deutsche, Italian, Swedish, Catalonian, Portuguese,
Japanese, Slovenian and Macedonian. Several
of his collections of poems have already
been translated into French and Italian;
among them" Le don du vide 1992, for
which he received the Moroccan Literary award
"Grand prix du livre" in 1993,
and the prize for translation into French
for his poems collection River among the
mournful in 2000; In addition, Bennis has
made a name for himself as the Arabic translator
of Abdelwaheb Maddeb, Who writes in French,
as well as the French poet Bernard Noel.
Meddeb, for his part, translated Bennis's
poems into French. Bennis's efforts are aimed
at the modernization of Arab poetry. He ranks
among the most important voices in Arab literature.
The result, that so distinguishes his verse,
is at once radically succinct yet with several
layers of meaning. In addition to his literary
work, Bennis has been active on a politico-cultural
level. In 1974 he founded the magazine "Al
Thaqafa Al jadida" (The new Culture),
which played an active role in the cultural
life of Morocco until it was banned in 1984
after unrest in Casablanca. In 1985 together
with university professors and writers, he
established the poetry-based publishing house
"Dar Toubkal". In 1996 he became
a founding member and president of "Maison
de la Poesie in Casablanca" from 1996
to 2003. Bennis lives in Mohammedia and he
has taught Literature at the Mohmmed V university
in Rabat since 1980.
Author: Mohammed Bennis
Editor: Ban'ya Natsuishi
Translator: Ban'ya Natsuishi
Credits: 1~4: "Ginyu" No. 23, Ginyu Press,
Japan, July 2004. 5~10: "Ginyu"
No. 30, Ginyu Press, Japan, April 2006.
Revised Thursday, 14-Feb-2002 11:41:41 EST.
Copyright (C) 2001 World Haiku Association.
All rights reserved.
All poetry the copyright of the author.
All translations the copyright of the translator.