Books and publications

The Abduction

February 03, 20207:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe Ambassadors’ Hall (at Calle Alcalá, 62, First Floor). 7:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.
In Spanish and French.

On Monday, February 3, poet Maram al-Masri is presenting this work published by La Cama Sol.

The event will be presented by Javier Garilleti, the director of Foro Arte y Tecnología at La Cama Sol, and will include a poetry reading given by Maram al-Masri herself, and Karim Hauser, Casa Árabe’s International Relations Coordinator.
This book came about as a result of a melding which occurred between the work of painter Rafael Canogar and poet Maram al-Masri. A Syrian resident in France since 1982, with residence in Paris, she is one of the most unique contemporary Arab voices. Maram’s poems are heartrending and earthy, full of fire and ice. They speak about females, about mothers, and above all about a woman whose child was taken away. Like the poems of Sharon Olds, another of the great voices in contemporary poetry, Maram’s are like being slapped with a silk glove, like being struck by wasp-like stones. They are poems with no return, and they will not leave you indifferent. In her youth, she fell in love with a Christian and was thus shunned. She then lived a life tied down to a Muslim man whom she did not love. She fled from Damascus to Paris, and then he took away her son. She spent thirteen long years without seeing him. An eternity. She then turned to poetry, and it is from those wounds that this book, “The Abduction” came about. The colorful work with dreamlike images by Rafael Canogar, one of the greatest representatives of abstract painting, accompanies this equally unique text.

Maram al-Masri was born in the coastal city of Latakia, to a well-known Sunni Muslim family. She studied English literature in Damascus. Her first collection was published in Damascus in 1984, with the title I Warned You with a White Dove, but her public acclaim came about in 1997 with the book A Red Cherry on a White Tile Floor, published by the Tunisian Ministry of Culture, for being considered “too erotic” by Syrian publishers. In 2002, a Spanish translation of the book was published with several reprints, and shortly after translations came out in French and English. Her poetry has been described as “direct writing with no adornments, with an emphasis on everyday life,” in which “the use of simple, almost childish metaphors marks a major contrast with the convention of traditional Arabic love poetry.” The newspaper The Guardian described her as “a love poet whose verse spares no truth of love’s joys and mercilessness.” This is the second book by this poet to be published by the firm La Cama Sol, after El Retorno (The Return), a book not yet published in Spanish, containing twenty-five works by the greater painter Rafael Canogar.
The Abduction