Amina Saïd

Amina Saïd was born in 1953 to a Tunisian father and a French mother, in Tunis, Tunisia. She began writing poetry in French at a young age. After her studies in English Literature at the Sorbonne, she briefly taught at the Faculty of the Arts in Tunis before settling in Paris, making frequent trips to her homeland. She then turned towards journalism. A meeting with the Filipino writer, F. Sionil José, led to her translations of several of his short stories and novels from the English. She has since published thirteen collections of poetry, which include La Douleur des seuils (2002), Au présent du monde (2006) and L’Absence l’inachevé (2009) — published by Éditions de la Différence — as well as Tombeau pour sept frères, with calligraphy by Hassan Massoudy (Éditions Al Manar, 2008). Her additional work includes two collections of tales from Tunisia. More than most contemporary poets, there is a characteristic vocabulary associated with her work, like an underlying sketch: the sky and its silence, the sea, light, the human eye, stone, exile: an impossible eternal return to a landscape of childhood. But she has also presented her work at innumerable international festivals, and the idea of certain human verities, not all pleasant ones, remaining constant as the scenery and language change, is also a preoccupation.

– from Marilyn Hacker’s introduction in MPT Series 3/13 Transplants