Coinciding with the upcoming virtual poetry evening to be hosted by the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation via its online platform on Sunday, March 21, 2021, for Winners of Al Owais Cultural Award; poet Ali Jaafar Al Allaq (16th session winner- poetry category), poet Shawqi Bazi’ (15th session winner- poetry category) and critic Mohamed Lutfi Al Yusufi (16th session winner- Literary Studies and Criticism category), the Foundation has issued 2 poetry collections.
The first poetry collection issued by the Foundation to mark this occasion is a book by poet Ali Jaafar Al Allaq, titled Al Majmoo’at Al Shi’riya Al Akhira: Hatta Yafeedh Al Hasa Bil Kalam, Watan Yatahajja Al Matar, Ta’er Yata’athar Bil Daw’, Farashat Li Tabdid Al Wahsha (The Latest Poetry Collections: “Until Pebbles Overflow with Words”, “A Homeland that Spells Rain”, “A Bird Tripping on Light”, “Butterflies to Expel Loneliness”), which are the poems written by Al Allaq during the period from 2013 to 2021.
Moreover, the Foundation has issued a book by poet Shawqi Bazi’, titled Manadeel Li Riyah Al Fuqdan (Handkerchiefs for the Winds of Loss) which includes selected poems from Bazi’s various poetry collections that reflect distinctive features of his long poetic journey.
The aforementioned publications were issued within the Foundation’s “Winners” book series, where a book by each winner of Al Owais Cultural Award is selected to be republished. Hitherto, the “Winners” book series has issued 57 publications by winners of previous sessions of Al Owais Cultural Awards, which have all received wide acclaim in the cultural arena, especially that many of these publications had gone out of print and reissuing them represents an important contribution to the Arab library.
It is worth mentioning that the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation had announced that will be hosting a virtual poetry evening for winners of Al Owais Cultural Awards in previous sessions to celebrate World Poetry Day 2021. The poetry evening, which will take place at 7 pm (UAE time) on Sunday, March 21, 2021, will host poets Ali Jaafar Al Allaq and Shawqi Bazi’ as well as critic Mohamed Lutfi Al Yusufi. The event aims at celebrating leading Arab poets, whom the Foundation has always been keen on recognizing and honoring through Al Owais CUltural Award, which is deemed to be one of the most prestigious and unbiased literary and cultural awards in the Arab world. Throughout its previous sessions, the Award was granted to most Arab innovators who have left an indelible mark on contemporary Arab culture.
It deserves notice that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Foundation (UNESCO) had first adopted 21 March as World Poetry Day during its 30th General Conference in Paris in 1999, with the aim of supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard. World Poetry Day is the occasion to honor poets, revive oral traditions of poetry recitals.
On this occasion the UNESCO had stated that World Poetry Day celebrates one of humanity’s most treasured forms of cultural and linguistic expression and identity. Practiced throughout history – in every culture and on every continent – poetry speaks to our common humanity and our shared values, transforming the simplest of poems into a powerful catalyst for dialogue and peace.
It is also worth mentioning that the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation had previously hosted many webinars and virtual cultural evenings that have been broadcasted live via its Facebook page. These virtual events featured a great number of leading Arab intellectuals and cultural personalities and were attended by a wide audience from around the Arab world.