Abdellatif Laabi

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Abdellatif Laâbi (b. 1942), perhaps Morocco’s preeminent poet, now lives in exile in France. In the 1970s, he was imprisoned, tortured and sentenced to ten years in prison for “crimes of opinion” and served a sentence from 1972 until 1980, when the sentence was commuted after an international outcry by writers and artists. He is the author of dozens of books of poetry, autobiography, novels and translations from Arabic (into French). He was the founder of the literary journal Souffles, and later a co-founder of Anfas, a journal that especially angered the authorities. Much of his work refers to the years of imprisonment and torture, as well as the ongoing repression in North Africa.