‘Poetic Justice’: A Snapshot of Contemporary Moroccan Poetry

By M. Lynx Qualey | 19 Mar 2021 | Source: Al-Fanar Media

It was 1994 when Deborah Kapchan began work on an anthology of contemporary Moroccan poetry. She was on a Fulbright fellowship, studying Moroccan verbal art and performance when, one night, she found herself at a zajal performance that featured the poets Ahmed Lemsyeh and Driss Mesnaoui.

“I was enrapt,” Kapchan said over an email conversation. “They both introduced me to this genre of poetry as well as the movement to write literature in Moroccan Arabic (Darija) which, at that time, was in full efflorescence.”

What followed was more than a quarter century of reading, listening to, and translating Moroccan poetry. The result is Poetic Justice, a new anthology that brings together work by more than 80 Moroccan poets. It is by far the most comprehensive collection of Moroccan poetry in English, an excellent companion to Abdellatif Laâbi’s Anthologie de la Poésie Marocaine de l’Indépendance à Nos Jours (Anthology of Moroccan Poetry from Independence to Today), which appeared in French in 2005….Read full article