A Tribute to Adonis: Islam, Sufism and Arabic Literature

Tuesday, 07 February 2012

7pm, The Mosaic Rooms, London
In his 1992 book, Al-Sufiyya wa Al-Suryaliyya (Sufism and Surrealism), the Syrian poet Adonis argued that the deeper sources from which symbolism and surrealism flow are identical to those of Sufism. This evening, in an event that accompanies a series of literary events at the Mosaic Rooms, Adonis will be in conversation with Omar Al-Qattan, discussing his influential book, as well as other important works of literary and cultural history and criticism.

Time: 7pm
Venue: Mosaic Rooms, London, SW5 0SW
Tickets: £8; Concessions £5. Visit the official website to buy tickets

More about Adonis's 'Selected Poems'

Born in Syria in 1930, Adonis is one of the most celebrated poets of the Arabic-speaking world. His poems have earned international acclaim, and his influence on Arabic literature has been likened to that of T. S. Eliot's on English-language verse. This volume serves as the first comprehensive survey of Adonis' work, allowing English readers to admire the arc of a remarkable literary career through the labours of the poet's own handpicked translator, Khaled Mattawa.

Experimental in form and prophetic in tone, Adonis' poetry sings exultantly of both the sweet promise of eros and the lingering problems of the self. Steeped in the anguish of exile and the uncertainty of existence, Adonis demonstrates the poet's profound affection for Arabic and European lyrical traditions even as his poems work to destabilize those very aesthetic and moral sensibilities. This collection positions the work of Adonis within the pantheon of the great poets of exile, including Cesar Vallejo, Joseph Brodsky, and Paul Celan, providing for English readers the most complete vision yet of the work of the man whom the cultural critic Edward Said called 'today's most daring and provocative Arab poet'.