Adonis (Ali Ahmad Said Esber) is a Syrian-born poet, translator and essayist who led the modernist movement in Arabic poetry in the second half of the 20th century. “The man who remade Arabic poetry” is how The New Yorker described him. Literary critic Edward Said called him “today's most daring and provocative Arab poet”: a vocal critic of Islamic religious values and traditions, he has lived in exile since 1956. His publications include twenty volumes of poetry, ranging from swooping epics to erotic mysticism to subdued meditations, written over 70 years. “A visionary who has profound respect for the past, Adonis has articulated his cherished themes of identity, memory and exile in achingly beautiful verse, while his work as critic and translator makes him a living bridge between cultures,” wrote the jury for the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature, which he received in 2017. Adonis has been nominated numerous times for the Nobel Prize for Literature and won Germany’s Goethe Prize in 2011. He lives in Paris.


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