My Mother's Language by Abdellatif Laâbi, trans. By André Naffis-Sahely
Abdellatif Laâbi is widely acknowledged to be Morocco's greatest living poet. For the last fifty years, he has produced works of unique philosophical and emotional insight that have been guided – above all – by a commitment to say what needed to be said. In 1972 this led to his arrest, torture and eight-and-a-half year imprisonment. This selection features some of his most powerful shorter poems alongside a long extract from his seminal work 'Casablanca Spleen'.
The poems in this edition have been translated by the celebrated poet and translator André Naffis-Sahely and the book features a fascinating afterword by the poet Yousif M. Qasmiyeh reflecting on poetic and ethical courage of Laâbi's work.