February 8, 2012 The Society of Authors has awarded Khaled Mattawa the £3,000 Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize at a London event to celebrate literature in translation. The prizewinning collection is Selected Poems by Syrian poet Adonis. Poetry doesn’t often yield riches of the monetary kind, but Mattawa is on something of a roll where lucrative literary prizes are concerned. Last year he won the 2011 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation (also for the Adonis collection), which carries a stipend of $3,000. In 2010, the Academy of American Poets awarded Mattawa the 2010 Academy Fellowship “for distinguished poetic achievement,” a fellowship which carries a stipend of $25,000. While these prizes are no doubt welcome, the great bonus of the past year for the Libyan-born Mattawa must surely be the fall of Khaddafi and the freedom to return to his homeland after more than three decades in exile. To read more about Matttawa’s literary honors and his passionate activism on behalf of the Libyan resistance (including an original poem, “After 42 Years,” click here.
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