Venus Khoury-Ghata

Vénus Khoury-Ghata is a prolific writer of fiction as well as poetry, she made a conscious choice of French as her language of expression: she could have written in Arabic, as does her novelist/journalist sister who remained in Beirut. She translates contemporary poetry from Arabic, notably of the renowned Syro-Lebanese poet Adonis, and the Arabic language often seems to speak through her French, in the elaborate, pithy figurative language in which she delights, in the landscapes and seasons through which her poems’ protagonists (hers are poems, often sequences, with protagonists) move. Audré Lorde’s term “biomythography” is often applicable to Khoury-Ghata’s poetry, as she makes larger-than-life, sometimes tragic and often wryly humorous poem-narratives incorporating her family’s, her region’s and her country’s history.