Presentation Epigraph Committes Activities Poetry Magazine

Without looking for any other motivation than poetry, we are announcing today the creation of The House of Poetry in Morocco since we have been deploring the absence of a place we could gather in as poets.

We have been more or less talking about this for a long time till we had the audacity to surprisse ourselves in the samr way a poem can astonish us through the birth of an idea free of any useless constraints. It’s poetry that guides our adventure into unlimited direction in front of frustrations and death.

We stole a moment of our individual secrets in order to make this announcement, urged as we were by the idea of The House Poetry as a human idea we find in transhumance in many countries.

Modern Moroccan poetry, in its own perception of itself and in its best creations as well as in its performances here and there, has known a qualitative change. Individual voices which attract or move away from each other remain fraternal in the same pursuit of the chant. Poetry is their major concern since it deals with the re-creation of indivitual or collective existence. A language open by what seems to be impossible and bodies which constantly live on the dangrous frontier of poems and life at the same time. We have never hesitated to consider poetry as a human necesssity as much as it is an Arab and Moroccan one, a unique faith in poetry and in the place it deserves in our times.

Modern Moroccan poetry cannot, because of the difficulties it encounters engender new opportunies of creation where poets could influence one another, interact with the public and the critics. Instead, the gap of exiles has widened and poetry became the accused, trapped between the devil of the body and the deep blue sea of other people.

In spite of this accumulate delay the decision of creating a House of Poetry in Morocco is a response to the requirements of Moroccan poetry for meetings with poets about poerty issues such as:

* Organization of poetry readings of Moroccan poets.

* Works on poetry issues.

* The archeology of Moroccan poetry.

* Reading workshops.

* Translations and publications.

* Communication with other Maghrebi poets.

* Invitation of other Arab and international poets.

* Poetry and other arts.

These are some of the aspects that we intend to work on in The House of Poetry. We are initiating the idea today in Casablanca, and we invite our Moroccan friends to think about it and make it collective, keeping in mind that nothing would be placed above poetry in Morocco and the Arab World today. We are of course aware of our limits as poets in an era when poetry is about to be erased.

The voices of fellow poets whom we accompanied to their last dwelling, in recent or long forgotten times, muffled by solitude and forgeting, are living within us, as strong and free as ever in their appeal to us. Their voices and ours live in accordance; we live by and in poetry.

The House of Poetry does not pretend to monopolize or own poetry. It is the mere form that welcomes our assent, thus letting the choice to others to either join it or choose something more in agreement with their options. If anything, poetry teaches us freedom. We therefore defend poetry and poets.

We take this opportunity to hail our poet friends who have worked or are still working for the assertion of the poetic word within Arab or cosmic horizons, and we inform our friends and poetry friends that we will soon be announcing the lines of our action.

Casablanca, April 8, 1996.

Mohamed Bentalha, Mohammed Bennis, Salah Boussrif, Hassan Nejmi.

The House of Poetry is a symbolic place of all Moroccan, poets who agree conscientiously and in full awareness that the poetical act is above all an act of freedom. In this House generations of poets could meet, different experiences could be exchanged, and languages could engage a dialogue to favor peaceful communication. Tranquility and liberty are honored in this institution whch welcomes every kind of subjectivity as a matrix for writings.

The first mission of the House of Poetry is to assimilate within its orientation all the voices which have oted for freedom in poetry practices. That is to say that the programs and activities of the House aim at giving an opportunity to all those for whom poetry is a vital space, to dedicate themselves to poetry work whatever the form or the language may be. The House is therfore open to all Mroroccan poets who adopt these principles.

To belong to the House of Poetry one needs to be in harmony with the initative of its creation, that is: respect of differences in order to give to this collective action the possibility to fulfill a long expected and difficult ambition.

According to the dynamism of poeple’s individual and collective life, the vital aspect of their subjctivity, the widening of their interests, and the specificity of their poetical creation, The House of Poetry will remain a place for meetings, solidarity, and conciliation. All its membres are eager to defend the dignity of poetry and poets by putting together all their material means and their intellectual capacities to make of this dignity an undisputed right and by being fully involved in Morocco’s cutlural issues.