Celebrating Banipal Magazine of Modern Arab Literature

News | Celebrating Banipal Magazine of Modern Arab Literature, 7pm 18 January 2023, Irish Cultural Centre, London

A celebration of 25 years of Banipal Magazine translating and publishing contemporary Arab literature in English is being held at 7pm on Wednesday 18 January 2023 at the Irish Cultural Centre 5 Black’s Road, Hammersmith, London W6 9DT.

All are welcome however registration by way of an RSVP to the editors of Banipal Magazine via this webpage is essential in order to be included on the Guest List and gain entry. 

There will be poetry and fiction, videos, translations and open mic discussions along with readings from special guests: Egyptian poet Iman Mersal and Syrian poet Nouri Al-Jarrah.

A remarkable number of works by Arab authors have been translated and showcased in the magazine. Special features have introduced writers from Morocco, Sudan, Yemen, Egypt, Emirates, Iraq, Tunisia, Jordan, Libya, Palestine, Syria and Algeria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia. Each issue is themed and illustrated. Some of the magazine’s special features include portraits of, or interviews with, Naguib Mahfouz, Mahmoud Darwish, Adonis, Ghaeb T’uma Farman, Ghalib Halasa, Tahar Ben Jelloun.

While much of the Arab world is plunged into chaos with wars and devastation, sectarian divisions, repression and censorship, the Arab literary side of life remains essentially modernist, secular, progressive and enlightened, speaking out for the marginalised – and needing to be heard across the world.

Back issues of Banipal Magazine can be obtained HERE

Banipal Books
Closing the magazine means more time and resources can be spent focusing on building up an invaluable and unique book list of contemporary Arabic literature.

The latest catalogue offering new titles to curious readers and researchers alike can be read and downloaded HERE

The 2022 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation, announced 12 January 2022:

The 2022 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation is to be shared between two joint winners: 

– the late HUMPHREY DAVIES for his translation of The Men Who Swallowed the Sun by Hamdi Abu Golayyel, published by Hoopoe Fiction.

– ROBIN MOGER for his translation of Slipping by Mohamed Kheir, published by Two Lines Press.

The Translation Prizes Award Ceremony, hosted by the Society of Authors, will take place on 8 February 2023 at the British Library, London, and will award the following prizes: the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize (Arabic), the Scott Moncrieff Prize (French), the Schlegel-Tieck Prize (German), the TLS-Risa Domb/Porjes Prize (Hebrew), the John Florio Prize (Italian), the Premio Valle Inclán (Spanish), and the Translators’ Association First Translation Prize (debut translation from any language into English).

The Banipal Trust for Arab Literature’s celebration of the 2022 joint winners takes place the following day, an online event on Thursday 9 February at 6.00pm GMT owing to the participants being unable to travel to London. It will comprise a discussion along with readings in both languages and a Q&A session.

All information about the judges, the award and the event(s) is HERE  

From the website for the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation:

THE SAIF GHOBASH BANIPAL PRIZE FOR ARABIC LITERARY TRANSLATION is an annual award of £3,000, made to the translator(s) of a published translation in English of a full-length imaginative and creative Arabic work of literary merit published after, or during, the year 1967 and first published in English translation in the year prior to the award. The prize aims to raise the profile of contemporary Arabic literature, as well as to honour the important work of individual translators in bringing the work of established and emerging Arab writers to the attention of the wider world. It was the first prize in the world for published Arabic literary translation into English and was established by Banipal, the magazine of modern Arab literature in English translation, and the Banipal Trust for Arab Literature. The inaugural prize was awarded on 9 October 2006 to the late Humphrey Davies.

‘The prize is administered by the Society of Authors in the United Kingdom, alongside the other UK prizes for literary translation, from languages that include Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish. The prizes are awarded annually at a ceremony hosted by the Society of Authors.

The prize is wholly sponsored by the Ghobash family in memory of their father, the late Saif Ghobash, who was passionate about Arabic literature and other literatures of the world.

 The deadline for both entries and publication of works each year is 31 March.

Guests at the 2021 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation Award Ceremony

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Published by

georgia DC

Bilingual editor, rewriter, French-to-English translator. Has written for 3am magazine, words without borders, The Independent, The Lady, Banipal, Prospect Magazine, Times Literary Supplement. Currently writes for The BookBlast Diary. Founder (1997) of London-based writing agency BookBlast.

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