Spanish Poet Tribute/UAE Poet’s Travel Ban/Egyptian Poet’s Archive AcQuisition – Poetry News Roundup September 29th

Today on My Poetic Side we take a look at the tribute to a Spanish poet, the poet who has been banned from travelling and an archive that has been donated to a library.

Two Month Tribute Paid to Anti-Franco Poet

A two-month event is to be staged in Orihuela in Spain, to commemorate the poet Miguel Hernandez. The event, which will take place in October and November has been timed to coincide with what would have been the poets 110th birthday.

Hernandez was born in 1910 to a family stricken by poverty. He spent much of his childhood working as a farmhand and a goatherd. He was mostly self-taught, and it was a friend who eventually introduced him to poetry and literature.

His first book of poems was published when he was 23. He became a member of the communist party and campaigned against the dictator General Franco during the Spanish Civil War of the late thirties.

Following the war, he was arrested a number of times for his anti-fascist opinions and he was eventually sentenced to death when he refused to sign a confession containing his political views. France commuted his sentence to 30 years in prison because he did not want him to be considered a martyr

Hernandez died in an Alicante jail in March 1942. He had been kept in a number of different jails over the years in appalling conditions and eventually died of tuberculosis.

The majority of his poetry was written during his time in jail and sent to his friends and his wife. His poetry is considered very important due to the power of his words.

Poet from the UAE Barred from Travel

A poet in the UAE has angered the authorities over comments that have made about the recent normalization deal that was made with Israel, referring to the event as a “sad and historic day”.

Dhabiya Khamis, who is a prominent Emirate poet, stated that on Sunday she was banned from boarding an airplane bound for Cairo at Dubai Airport. She believes that the ban was put in place due to her recent comments about normalization and Zionism. She says that she now fears for her life and her freedom and is concerned that she may be threatened or arrested.

A number of poets and writers have spoken out in support of Khamis.

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates signed the normalisation agreement with Israel on 15th September at the White House following the US-brokering of the agreement. They ignored the Palestinian rejection when they did this.

Archive of Egyptian Poet Acquired by NYU Abu Dhabi Library

Archives relating to Ahmed Zaki Abu Shadi, the Egyptian poet, bee scientist and publisher have been acquired by the NYU Abu Dhabi library. The poet lived from 1892 to 1955, and the collection contains over 40 boxes filled with unpublished manuscripts, correspondence and photographs. The archive was donated by the poet’s granddaughter.

Abu Shadi was perhaps best known for his work as a poet and was the founder of Apollo, a literary journal which ran for just 2 years in Cairo. He was also very interested in bees and beekeeping, and co-founded the Apis Club.

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