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Poems of Alexandria and New York


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About the Author

Ahmed Morsi was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1930 and grew up there. After graduating in English Literature, he published his first poetry collection and studied art in the Alexandria studio of Silvio Becchi. From early on, he became a part of Alexandria's literary and artistic society. Later, living in Baghdad from 1955 to 1957 when it was a literary, artistic and intellectual hub, he nurtured his art criticism, working with Iraq's modernist writers and painters, before returning to Egypt. In Cairo, Morsi co-founded and was editor-in-chief of the avant-garde literary magazine Galerie '68. He lives in New York City. Raphael Cohen is a professional translator and lexicographer who studied Arabic and Hebrew at Oxford University and the University of Chicago. He has translated, for Banipal magazine, a growing number of works by contemporary Arab poets, including Ahmed Rashid Thani, Hala Mohammad, Samer Abu Hawwash, Ahmed Al-Mulla and Marwan Makhoul. His fiction in translation includes novels by authors George Yarak, Ahlem Mosteghanemi, Mohamed Salmawy and Mona Prince. His translation of Omani author Ghalya F T Al Said's novel The Madness of Despair is also published by Banipal Books, 2021.


"When I read the poems of Ahmed Morsi I begin to travel." Alfonso Armada, journalist, playwright and poet

"Ahmed Morsi paints his poetry and writes his paintings." Samir Gharib, art critic "Morsi's use of language is distinctly free and unconventional." Salah Awad, critic and journalist "The unique sensibility of the 'pure artist' who is Ahmed Morsi." Raphael Cohen, translator "These two collections weave multiple relations - threaded with the themes of exile and alienation - between New York and Alexandria" Hala Halim, New York University "An impressive translation revealing the intense gaze of a magnificent narrator, wandering between sea and ocean, between art and poetry, in search of amazement" May Tilmissany, author, film critic and academic

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