Adnan Alsayegh


Adnan AlsayeghBorn in al-Kufa (Iraq) in 1955, Adnan al-Sayegh is one of the most original voices from the generation of Iraqi poets known as the Eighties Movement. His poetry, crafted with elegance, and sharp as an arrowhead, carries an intense passion for freedom, love and beauty. Adnan uses his words as a weapon to denounce the devastation of war and the horrors of dictatorship. 
In 1993 his uncompromising criticism of oppression and injustice led to his exile in Jordan and the Lebanon. After being sentenced to death in Iraq in 1996, because of the publication of Uruk's Anthem (The death list was published in the newspaper" Babel" 13 October 1996, then in "Al-Zawraa" 2 March 2000. Both newspapers were owned by Saddam Hussein's son, Uday) - a long poem in which he gives voice to the profound despair of the Iraqi experience - he took refuge in Sweden (1996). Since 2004 he has been living in London. 
Even after the changes taking place in Iraq, on 16 April 2006, Adnan al-Sayegh read his poems at the third al-Marbed Poetry Festival in Basra, Iraq. The poems upset the intolerant religious armed militia so al-Sayegh was threatened with death and with having his tongue cut out. He was forced to leave Basra in haste and through Kuwait to return to his exile in London. 
Adnan is a member of the Iraqi and Arab Writers Unions, the Iraqi and Arab Journalists Unions, the International Journalist Organization, the Swedish Writers Union, the Swedish Pen Club, English PEN Writers and Exiled Writers Ink in UK.  
Adnan has read with the British poet Stephen Watts at Exiled Writers Ink, The Poetry Café, White Chapel Gallery, Beyond Words, The Mosaic Rooms, The library Barbican, The National Portrait Gallery in London, Trinity College Literary Society - Cambridge, Write Angle poetry, Petersfield, Scotland World Poetry Festival St. Andrews – Edinburgh, Britain. The Poetry International Festivals with English PEN Writers at South Bank Center - London.  
Adnan has worked with the British poet Jenny Lewis (who teaches poetry at Oxford University) on a programme of workshops and readings at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford then at the British Museum, London, This resulted in two pamphlets in English and Arabic –published by Mulfran Press. 
 
International Awards: 
He has received several international awards; among them, the Hellman-Hammet International Poetry Award (New York 1996), the Rotterdam International Poetry Award (1997) and the Swedish Writers Association Award (2005), and has been invited to read his poems in many festivals across the world. 
 
The following collections of Adnan's poetry have been published: 
The following collections of Adnan’s poetry have been published:  
1. Wait for me under the Statue of Liberty (Bagdad, 1984). 
2. Songs on the Bridge of Kufa (Bagdad, 1986; Cairo, 2011). 
3. Sparrows don’t Love Bullets (Bagdad, 1986). 
4. Sky in a Helmet (Bagdad, 1988; Cairo 1991 and 1996) 
5. Mirrors for her Long Hair (Bagdad, 1992; Amman and Madrid, 2002). 
6. Cloud of Glue (Bagdad, 1993; Damascus, 1994; Cairo 2004). 
7. Under a Strange Sky (London, 1994; Beirut 2002; Cairo, 2006). 
8. Formations (Beirut and Amman, 1996). 
9. Uruk’s Anthem (Beirut, 1996 and 2006). 
10. To Cuddle My Exile (Sweden, 2001; Cairo, 2006; Baghdad, 2015). 
11. And.. (Beirut, 2011; Baghdad, 2015). 
 
And he has been published in many languages: 
1. Att Bära Sin Exil (Swedish & Arabic), translated by a number of translators, overseen by Arne Zaring, (Sweden, 2010). 
2. The Deleted Part (English), translated by Stephen Watts and Marga Burgui-Artajo, (United Kingdom, 2009). 
3. Nagelskrift (Swedish), translated by Bodil Greek and Staffan Wieslander (Sweden, 1998 and 2000). 
4. Selections (Dutch), translated by Jaco Schoonhoven, (Netherlands, 1997). 
5. Bajo Un Cielo Extranjero (Spanish), translated by Abdul H. Sadoun and Muhisin Al-Ramly (Spain, 1997). 
6. Bombs Have Not Breakfasted Yet (English), translated by Dr. Abbas Kadhim and David Sullivan, (United Kingdom, 2013). 
7. The poet who does not reach his letters to his homeland (Farsi), selected poems, translated by Mohammad Mehdi Nzad (Iran - Tehran, 2014). 
8. Now as Then: Mesopotamia-Iraq (English and Arabic) by Jenny Lewis and Adnan Al-Sayegh, (United Kingdom, 2013). 
9. Singing for Inanna (English and Arabic) by Jenny Lewis and Adnan Al-Sayegh (United Kingdom, 2014). 
10. ‘’Le sommet est un puits’’ (French) The top is an over turned well, selected poems, translated by Dr. Mohamed Salah Ben Amor (France, 2015). 
11. Pages From The Biography Of An Exile (English and Arabic), translated by Stephen Watts and Marga Burgui-Artajo, (United Kingdom, 2016). 
 
 
The following collections of Adnan's articles have been published: 
Requirements of the New Text followed by In the Garden of the Text (Beirut, 2008) 
Reading & the Tomahawk followed by The Intellectual & Assassination (Beirut, 2010) 
 
International  Accolades: 
1. A Master of Arts Thesis. “The Poetry of Adnan Al-Sayegh; A Technical Study” Submitted by Arif Al- Saaidi. It was awarded a distinction by the Department of Arabic Language at the University of Al- Mustansiriyah Bagdad, 2006. 
2. A Master of Arts Thesis. ''Poem everyday life in the poetry of Adnan Sayegh'' Submitted by Ahmed Mohammed Ali. It was awarded a distinction by the Department of Arabic Literature at the University of Al-  Mosul, 2011. 
3. David Sullivan Professor of English at Cabrillo College California USA. Taught Adnan’s poetry there in 2011. 
4. A Master of Arts Thesis. A Comparative Study of Selected War Poems by Wilfred Owen and Adnan Al Sayegh; A Psychological Study. Submitted by Sura- Hussein- Mohammed Ali. It was awarded a competent degree pass by the College of Education for Women - The Department of English at The University of Bagdad, 2014 
5. A Master of Arts Thesis ''Formation of Power in Adnan Al-Sayegh's Poetry'' by Wassan Murshed Mahmoud Al-Jubouri. It was awarded a distinction by the College of Education for Women - Depatment of Arabic, at The University of Bagdad, 2015 
 
Four books about his work have been published recently: 
1. Arif al-Sa'adi: The Poetry of Adnan al-Sayegh, a Technical Study - MA Thesis submitted to the Department of Modern Languages of the University of Baghdad (Sweden, 2007). 
2. Waleed al-Zuraybi: Adnan al-Sayegh… Carrying his Exile- Interviews and selected poems (Tunisia, 2008). 
3. Abdul Razak Al-Rubaie: Adnan al-Sayegh; transient fire of wars, to frost exile" - Introduction and Interviews and selected poems (Muscat, 2013). 
4. Sura Hussein Mohammed Ali: 'A psychological study of war poems by Wilfred Owen and Adnan al-Sayegh' (London, 2016).