Books Poetry, Drama & Criticism

Beyond the Barbed Wire: Selected Poems

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Pages: 168

Language: English

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Carcanet Press Ltd: 1 edition (28 July 2016)

By: Abdellatif Laabi (Author), Andre Naffis-Sahely (Editor)

Introduced by Jim Moore, with an interview by Christopher Schaefer Beyond the Barbed Wire is a selection of work by Morocco s greatest living poet. Abdellatif Laâ:bi's poetry and literary activism has inspired a generation of writers and thinkers, and it resulted in his decade-long imprisonment. This volume gives a career-spanning overview of Laâ:bi's poetry, from the late 1960s to the 2010s. It includes a generous selection of the prison-writings of the 1970s, poems that speak from beyond the borders of what is human, as the poet writes, a hinterland of physical and emotional torture, in which hunger strikes are the only weapon we've left. Among these is a poem addressed to the poet's cell, which is right here / inside me / like a second body , and another written piecemeal to friends on the outside and later reassembled. Beyond the Barbed Wire pays testament to the human need to speak in the face of censorship, that epic of silence. These poems, Laâ:bi's bitter fruits of the murderous twilight, renew the possibility of a poetry that is genuinely urgent, necessary: a poetry of anger, anguish, love, wit, and hope, touched by a philosopher's vision and perspicuity. The book includes an interview with the poet in which he discusses his practice, his views on education, his beliefs about a poet s duty, the influence of his parents, and his optimism. With Laâ:bi's renewed prominence in the Moroccan intellectual scene following the Arab Spring, and with a new generation of artists and activists looking to him as a source of inspiration, this book shows why Laâ:bi is more than Morocco's leading poet, but also a guiding cultural and political force.

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