Adonis

Adonis is widely acknowledged as the greatest Arab poet alive today. Born 1930 as Ali Ahmad Said Esber, he grew up in the impoverished Syrian village of Al-Qassabin, with an early passion for poetry kindled by his father and time at Qur'anic school. Publishing his first collection in 1950, Adonis' work has had a pioneering influence on Arab modernism, using classical ideas and Sufism to explore the most urgent issues facing contemporary Arab society. The critic Edward Said described Adonis as 'today's most daring and provocative Arab poet' and indeed in Violence & Islam (Polity, 2016) the poet argues powerfully that current tensions and conflicts stem from a divisive tribal mentality deeply intertwined with the early development of the Islamic faith. Adonis is frequently tipped for the Nobel Prize for Literature and his achievements have been recognized with numerous international accolades, including the Goethe Prize in 2011.