Courtesy of Archipelago Books
Abdellatif Laâbi is a poet, novelist, playwright, translator, and political activist. He was born in Fez, Morocco, in 1942. In the 1960s, Laâbi was the founding editor of Souffles, or Breaths, a widely influential literary review that was banned in 1972, at which point Laâbi was imprisoned for eight and a half years. Laâbi’s most recent accolades include the Prix Goncourt de la Poésie for his Oeuvres complètes (Collected works) in 2009, and the Académie Française’s Grand Prix de la Francophonie in 2011. His work has been translated into Arabic, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, Turkish and English. Laâbi himself has translated into French the works of Mahmoud Darwish, Abdul Wahab al-Bayati, Mohammed Al-Maghout, Saâdi Youssef, Abdallah Zrika, Ghassan Kanafani, and Qassim Haddad.