Monday, March 30, 2015

Blind Algerian-born poet wins Israel prize

 Algerian-born poet Erez Biton is the first Mizrahi to be awarded the Israel Prize for Literature. The Jerusalem Post reports:

Erez Biton has been blind since childhood

Biton, who has been blind since childhood, was born in Algeria and is the first poet of Mizrahi descent to win the Israel Prize in Literature.

His well-known works include 1976’s Mincha Marokait (Moroccan Gift); 1979’s Sefer Hanana (Book of Mint); 1989’s Tzipor Ben Yabashot (Bird between Continents); and 2009’s Timbisert, A Moroccan Bird.

“The five books of poetry he published... are the epitome of courageous dealings,” wrote the Israel Prize committee, “sensitive and deep with a wide range of personal and collective experiences centered around the pain of migration, planting roots in the country and the reestablishment of the Mizrahi identity as an integral part of the overall Israeli portrait.”

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