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Literature 2023

Ali Jaafar Al Allaq


Ali Jaafar Alallaq is an Iraqi Poet, critic, and university professor. He is the recipient of a Ph.D. in Modern Literature and Criticism in the UK in 1984, as well as of the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Award for poetry in its 16th edition in 2019. He is a Lecturer at the University of Baghdad and Mustansiriyah University, and editor-in-chief of Al-Aqlam magazine. From 1991 to 1997, he taught at Sanaa University before moving on to become a professor of modern literature and criticism at UAEU, where he served until 2015. His poetic and criticism experience has been the subject of over twelve theses in Iraq, Egypt, Palestine, and Jordan, along with more than 15 criticism books written by Arab and Iraqi authors. His book al-Shi'r wa-al-talaqqi (Poetry and Reception) won the 1997 Sharjah International Book Fair Award for best book in literary creativity and was honoured by the First Arab Cultural Festival (Istanbul 2022) for its poetic, critical, and academic achievements. 

Alallaq is a member of several committees for poetry and criticism arbitration, including the King Faisal Prize, Cairo Prize for Arabic Poetry, Mahmoud Darwish Award for Creativity, Muhammad Afifi Matar Award in Cairo, Muhammad Al-Qaisi Prize in Amman, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) Prize, Albabtain Prize, Sharjah Award for Arab Creativity, and the Arabic Poetry Criticism Award in Sharjah. He has published over 20 poetry books, the most recent of which is Farashat Litabdeed Alwihda (Butterflies to Ward Off Loneliness), Amman, 2021, in addition to 11 books in prose, the most recent of which is Ila Ayn Ayyathouha Al Kaseedah (Where to, O Poem?) An Autobiography, Alaan Publishers, Amman, 2022.

About The Book

The Arabic autobiography, “Ila Ayn Ayyathouha Al Kaseedah” (Whereto, O Poem? An Autobiography), is a significant addition to the genre, particularly due to its focus on Al-Alaq’s poetic experience. Through the book, readers can gain insight into the relationship between the poet and his work, as well as the challenges of the Iraqi and Arab cultural landscape for over fifty years. The author presents a modernist perspective that is free from narrow-mindedness and bias. The language of the book is stylistically diverse, ranging from everyday language to poetic prose. The author skillfully employs biographical techniques, incorporating Al-Alaq’s own poems and those of other poets to create a distinct and exceptional work.

Published: 2022

Interview with

Ali Jaafar Al Allaq

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