While there is an exhaustive list of poetic styles present in Morocco, we will highlight three ones that have withstood the test of time and remain a staple of Moroccan poetry and prose: muwashahat, traditional gnawa music, and contemporary poetic forms of expression in the Moroccan Arabic dialect, Darija, and French.
|A street musician in Marrakech playing the guembri|
Photo credit Ahron de Leeuw
Fast forwarding through nearly one thousand years of written and oral traditions to the digital age, Agadir Rising, an online zine entirely created and produced by the RISE program’s Journalism Club, has created a platform through which current college students and recent graduates from the Agadir area express themselves creatively through through poetry and prose. One of our RISE participants, Abdullah, recently wrote a poem using the intricate poetic form, typical of many muwashahat poems, where the last letter or syllable of every line is uniform. Follow the journalism club on Facebook for updates and to see our young artists' work.
In our offices in Agadir, Dar Si Hmad regularly hosts visiting artists and poets for special events and meetings with our Ethnographic Field School groups. Previous partnerships have included 100 Thousand Poets for Change, a US-based project using poetry to promote peace, sustainability, and socio-political change. California poets Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion came to Morocco for the first time in 2014 to visit Dar Si Hmad and share poetry in four languages.
This World Poetry Day, Dar Si Hmad salutes Abdullah, Fatima, and every other poet around the world who has used words to express and share their experiences of the world. There is a power in poetry. We are proud to learn from and help remember that power.