"...the Imagination (or love, or sympathy, or any other sentiment) induces knowledge, and knowledge of an 'object' which is proper to it..."
Henry Corbin (1903-1978) was a scholar, philosopher and theologian. He was a champion of the transformative power of the Imagination and of the transcendent reality of the individual in a world threatened by totalitarianisms of all kinds. One of the 20th century’s most prolific scholars of Islamic mysticism, Corbin was Professor of Islam & Islamic Philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris and at the University of Teheran. He was a major figure at the Eranos Conferences in Switzerland. He introduced the concept of the mundus imaginalis into contemporary thought. His work has provided a foundation for archetypal psychology as developed by James Hillman and influenced countless poets and artists worldwide. But Corbin’s central project was to provide a framework for understanding the unity of the religions of the Book: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. His great work Alone with the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn ‘Arabi is a classic initiatory text of visionary spirituality that transcends the tragic divisions among the three great monotheisms. Corbin’s life was devoted to the struggle to free the religious imagination from fundamentalisms of every kind. His work marks a watershed in our understanding of the religions of the West and makes a profound contribution to the study of the place of the imagination in human life.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Khaled Mattawa

Khaled Mattawa has been selected as the recipient of the 2010 Academy of American Poets Fellowship.

From the Academy website:

Khaled Mattawa was born in Benghazi, Libya in 1964 and immigrated to the U.S. in his teens. His collections of poetry include Ismailia Eclipse (Sheep Meadow, 1995), Zodiac of Echoes (Ausable, 2003), Amorisco (2008) and Tocqueville(New Issues, 2010). Mattawa has also translated many volumes of contemporary Arabic poetry and co-edited two anthologies of Arab American literature. About Mattawa's work, Academy Chancellor Marilyn Hacker says: "Khaled Mattawa is one of the most original, lyrical and intellectually challenging American poets of his generation. Toqueville is a book that is as daring in its amalgam of poetic techniques as it is dazzling and pertinent in the breadth of its subject-matter, while Amoriscos expands possibilities of the lyric in English with its historical and cultural reach. He is also one of the best translators of contemporary poetry working today, from Arabic or indeed any language—creating viable, memorable poems in the receptor language."

Mattawa's honors include a Guggenheim fellowship, a translation grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Alfred Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, the PEN American Center Poetry Translation Prize, and three Pushcart Prizes. He teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

About his poetic process, Mattawa has said: "I'm still surprised by the urgent presence of the poem in me, sometimes well-shaped but often a foggy insistence that I must adhere to. I write what appears to be dictated to me, one phrase beckoning another. The beginning of a poem is often a series of directions to a place or a moment. I rework it slowly, adding, reducing, stopping and waiting for months, and changing tracks until the parameters of a landscape begin to show, which means that the poem has grown larger than my intentions."

Bibliography (from Wikipedia)
Books of Poetry:
Toqueville New Issues, 2010
Amorisco Ausable Press, 2008
Zodiac of Echoes Ausable Press, 2003
Ismailia Eclipse The Sheep Meadow Press, 1995
Poetry Books of Translation from Arabic:
Adonis: Selected Poems (The Margellos World Republic of Letters), Yale 2010
Invitation to a Secret Feast, by Joumana Haddad, Tupelo Press, 2008
A Red Cherry on A White-Tile Floor, poems by Maram Al-Massri, Copper Canyon, 2007
Miracle Maker, Selected Poems of Fadhil Al-Azzawi, BOA Editions, 2004
Without An Alphabet, Without A Face: Selected Poems of Saadi Youssef, Graywolf Press, 2002
In Every Well A Joseph Is Weeping, poems of Fadhil al-Azzawi, Quarterly Review of Books, 1997
Questions and Their Retinue: Selected Poems of Hatif Janabi, University of Arkansas Press, 1996
Anthologies of Arab American Literature:
Dinarzad's Children: An Anthology of Arab American Fiction, University of Arkansas Press, 2004
Post Gibran: Anthology of New Arab American Writing, Syracuse University Press, 1999

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