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Egyptian poet Helmy Salem passed away on 28 July 2012 after a long battle against lung cancer. Only 61 years of age, he was recognised as one of the most prominent poets of the 1970s poetry movement in Egypt, and published his first collection in 1974.
He studied journalism at Cairo University and worked on Al-Ahali newspaper and was editor-in-chief of the Egyptian literary magazine Adab wa Naqd (Literature and Criticism). He published a number of works on culture and literary criticism in addition to around 18 collections of poetry and in 2006 was awarded Egypt's State Prize for Excellence for his entire body of work.
Banipal 7 (Spring 2000) published selections from the poem (One step behind the dancers) from his collection Sarab al-Triko (The T-Shirt Mirage), translated by Anton Shammas. Click here to read the poem.