on the poet’s presence


The Libyan writer and poet Khaled Mattawa writes in this article about the historical context of the use of poetry in the eastern parts of Libya. It is important to see the context of the speaker / poet and the historical context of the poems that are quoted in the present.  Next to that he … Continue reading on the poet’s presence

meet the poet-stranger


One of the topics in African Literature is the use of language. The writer may decide to use a language rooted in the western world. A writer may use his r her local language. That is the language heard at home, spoken by grandparents, the language of stories and riddles. When you are rooted in … Continue reading meet the poet-stranger

identity, power, and a prayer


Translating is treason. Is it that bad and unavoidable? To translate a book, a poem, an essay is not just translating the words, but also translating a newly created world in which words and the juxtaposition of words plays their role.  Khaled Mattawa, who hails from the North African country Libya, writes poetry and he … Continue reading identity, power, and a prayer

rebuilding libya


He left the country of Libya long before the spring was announced in his country. In the end he settled in Ireland. He was not a writer, but he started writing. His memories were guiding him in his new adventure.  Salah Haddad went back to his Libya, that had changed, 18 years later. He was … Continue reading rebuilding libya

libya’s reluctant spokesman


Lybia is a hard place. A history of difficult policies and politicians. A history of silencing dissent. A history of a leader who tried to be leading Africa by dibursing money and his brand of islam. I once drove past the mosque in Lampala (Uganda) that was financed by the man with the green book. … Continue reading libya’s reluctant spokesman