Abdellatif Laâbi is one of the most prolific and critically acclaimed contemporary writers from North Africa. Laâbi was born in 1942 in Fez, Morocco, under the French Protectorate. A decade after Morocco gained independence from France, Laâbi founded the renowned literary magazine Souffles, a socio- political journal that merged Moroccan creative energies in a linguistic and artistic revolution that spread throughout the Maghreb. The journal was eventually banned due to its insurgent nature, and Laâbi was imprisoned and tortured for his political beliefs and his writings. Much of his work is influenced by his time in prison and the exile he was forced into upon his release.
A novelist, poet, essayist, and playwright, Laâbi has also translated works by Mahmoud Darwish, Abdallah Zrika, Abd al-Wahhab Al- Bayati, and Hanna Minna, among others. In addition to its powerful influence in Morocco, Laâbi's work is well known in France, earning him countless literary prizes, including the Prix Goncourt in 2009 and the Academie francaise's Grand Prix de la Francophonie in 2011. Laâbi is undoubtedly the major francophone voice of Moroccan poetry today. He is the author of THE UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE (Lithic Press, 2021), PERISHIBLE POEMS (Dialogos/Lavender Ink, 2019), and THE WORLD'S EMBRACE: SELECTED POEMS (City Lights Publishers, 2003).