Khaled Mattawa Wins 2011 Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize for Translations of Adonis

Posted on January 17, 2012 by Scott Esposito

As reported at Three Percent, translator Khaled Mattawa has received the 2011 Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize for his translations of Syrian poet Adonis:

Khaled Mattawa’s translation of this selection of Adonis’s poetry is destined to become a classic. It is a monumental piece of work, a long-overdue compendium of works by one of the most important poets of our time, a contribution to world literature that demonstrates the lyricism and full range of Adonis’s poetry. The translations are supple and fluent, flexible yet accurate, consistently sensitive to the poet’s nuances, and beautifully render into English Adonis’s modernist sensibilities. Anglophone readers will gain a new appreciation of why Adonis has so often been likened to TS Eliot and Ezra Pound, with the freshness of his lines and imagination liberated from the self-conscious archaism of other translations, and allowing his unique reworking of the legends of East and West, the arcs of love and death, to spring forth. This book should ensure that Western readers recognize the significance of Adonis’s contribution to world poetry.

These translations can be read in Adonis: Selected Poems, published by Yale University Press

This is great news for Mattawa and great news for TWO LINES as well, which published some of Mattawa's translations in 2009, before they were available in book form. Those translations are available along with over 30 others in Wherever I Lie Is Your Bed, purchasable from the Center right here.