is a poet born in Fès, Morocco, in 1948. His first collection of poems was published in 1960 and to date he has eleven collections. He loved poetry from an early age. He studied philosophy in Fès, and since 1980 has taught in the Faculty of Philosophy in Rabat.
In 1971 he founded the avant-garde and influential literary journal Al-Thakafa al-Jadida [New Culture], which he continued publishing until it was banned in 1984.
In 1985, together with a group of university teachers and authors, he started the publishing house Toubqal, now one of the best-regarded literary publishers in Morocco. In 1996 he co-founded the House of Poetry in Morocco, and until 2003 was its president.
Mohammed Bennis was primarily responsible for the establishment in 2000 by UNESCO of an annual World Poetry Day on 21 March to stimulate dialogue among cultures through poetry.
Much of his work has been translated and published in French and selected poems translated into other languages, including English, Spanish, Portuguese and Swedish. He has also published four books of essays and translated several books from French into Arabic. He lectures at the College of Literature and Humanities in Rabat.
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Banipal No 33 Autumn/Winter 2008
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