Abbas Beydoun (born in 1945, near Sour, Lebanon) sees poetry as a laboratory for language experiments. He represents an avant-garde trend that has revolutionised Arabic poetry by developing the prose poem and has been a beacon for younger generations of poets.
Beydoun's poetry, which now comprises more than a dozen collections, is characterised by simple, reduced language with complex and multi-layered images and metaphors. There is no unity or continuity of style in his work; he is constantly experimenting with new styles, techniques, levels of imagination and kinds of language. His work also encompasses a wide range of themes, from traumatic experiences of war to meditations on everyday life to confrontations with the labyrinth that is the human psyche.
For Beydoun, writing poetry means creating an oppositional space. His maxim is that you have to look behind the scenes, drag what is hidden into the light and say what has not been said. Poetry should reveal, shake up and by all means shock.
Beydoun lives in Beirut, where he has worked as Cultural Editor of the Lebanese daily newspaper as-Safîr since 1997.
Publications (a selection):
al-Waqt bi-djur’âtin kabîra (Time in Big Mouthfuls), Dâr al-Fârâbî, Beirut 1982.
Sûr (Tyre), (Mu’assasat al-abhâth al-’arabîyya), Beirut 1985.
Hudjurât (Rooms), Dâr al-djadîd), Beirut 1992.
Li-marîdin huwa-l-amal (Sick Hope), Dâr al-masâr, Beirut 1997.
Lufidha fî-l-bard (Spat Out Into the Cold), Dâr al-masâr, Beirut 2000.
Abbas Beydoun at ZVAB
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