Born in Northern Syria in 1930, Adonis studied philosophy at the University of Damascus. In 1955, he was sentenced to six months in jail because of his membership in the Syrian Social Nationalist Party. Following this, he and his wife chose exile in Lebanon, where he co-published the avant-garde literary journal Schi’r (Poetry) in 1957 with other renowned writers. He taught at Lebanese University despite the incipient civil war from 1973 until he moved to Paris in 1985, where he has lived since. Adonis is one of the most important poets in the Arab world and has won many awards for his writing.

Adonis is the pen name under which Ali Ahmed Said Esber has been writing ever since a journal rejected poems he submitted under his own name but subsequently published under his pseudonym. Adonis’ free verse breaks with traditional forms of classical Arab poetry but retains its metaphorical aspects. Along with poems, he writes essays about Arab poetry. He explores Arabic traditions of earlier centuries and the modern era, and in powerfully lyrical language, he displays an openness that could be groundbreaking for the Arab world.

Wortgesang. Von der Dichtung zur Revolution. Essays. Aus dem Arabischen von Rafael Sanchez, hrsg. und mit einem Vorwort von Stefan Weidner. S. Fischer 2012
Verwandlungen eines Liebenden. Gedichte. Aus dem Arabischen von Stefan Weidner. S. Fischer 2011

The Leukerbad Literary Festival is exhibiting Adonis’ visual art works in the Galerie St. Lauren and in the Alter Bahnhof.
Discussion of the Exhibition: Sunday, 6.25., 10:00, Galerie St. Laurent


28th Leukerbad International Literary Festival: 6.21.–23.2024