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Tuesday, 23 August, 2011, 3:18 ( 1:18 GMT )
Libyan-American, Khaled Mattawa, Wins Most Prestigious Poetry Award in USA
12/12/2010 20:23:00
Photo: The Libyan-American poet, professor and translator, Khaled Mattawa.

The Libyan-American poet, professor and translator, Khaled Mattawa, has been awarded the American Artist Fellowship for 2010, the University of Michigan news service reported recently.

Born in Benghazi in 1964, Mattawa immigrated to the US at the age of fifteen.

He was one of 50 artists chosen across America and the only one from state of Michigan.

The unrestricted $50,000 grant is one of 52 awards presented this year to visual, design, performing and literary artists from 18 states and Puerto Rico.

Mattawa teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at the University of Michigan.

He has written four volumes of poems and translated nine books of contemporary Arabic poetry, most notably a translation of the work of renowned Syrian poet Adonis.

The fellowship was announced Dec. 7 at a celebration at the Lincoln Center in New York.

Earlier this year, Mattawa received a fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, UM news service said. The fellowship, established in 1937, is the oldest of its kind in the United States, and widely considered among the most prestigious annual poetry awards.

Past recipients have been America's most popular and influential poets, including Gwendolyn Brooks, E.E. Cummings, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Elizabeth Bishop and Adrienne Rich.

In awarding him a fellowship, the Academy of American Poets called Mattawa "one of the most original, lyrical and intellectually challenging poets of his generation."

His book, "Tocqueville," is cited for daring poetic techniques and wide ranging subject-matter.

The American poet Marilyn Hacker characterized Mattawa's poetry as "politically astute, formally daring, gripping the reader with an intelligence that spotlights its sensual, emotional and historical accuracy."

Commenting on receiving the award, Mattawa said "it will make life a little easier, but above all the prestige and recognition is very important at this level."

"To know you're just one of 50 artists is like winning a small lottery by itself," he added.

The most recent award from US Artists places Mattawa in the highest echelon of American contemporary artists. The award, now in its fifth year, spotlights cutting-edge experimenters and traditional practitioners.

Among Mattawa's other honors are a Guggenheim fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts translation grant, Alfred Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, PEN American Center Translation Prize, and three Puschart Prizes.

Before teaching at the University of Michigan (UM), he attended the University of Tennessee, Indiana University and Duke University.

The books Mattawa has translated including those by Adonis, Saadi Youssef, Fadhil Al-Azzawi, Hatif Janabi, Maram Al-Massri, Joumana Haddad, Amjad Nasser, and Iman Mersal.

His research interests include twentieth-century American; creative writing; intercultural and post-colonial studies as well as poetry and poetics.

He also focuses on research in translation in theory and practice and Arab American literature.

Mattawa frequently visit the Arab world to participate in poetry events and promote his books.(news agencies)
This article has ( 2 ) Comment(s)
Name: Adel Mansour
Date: 02/07/2011 03:13:59
It's really to know that one of our intelligent Libyans who live abroad, has achieved a noticeable thing and that's not only for him , but also for us as a young generation, proud of older generations.
Name: Libya Hates GaddafiDate: 08/05/2011 20:43:03
re Adel Mansour's comment. He is also anti gaddafi...like the rest of libya

اللهم أرنا فى معمر القذافي وأبنائه آية لم تراها الخلائق من قبل
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