Mahmoud Darwish was born in 1942 in the village of al-Birweh in Galilee, Palestine. His family fled to Lebanon in 1948 when the Israeli Army destroyed their village, returning secretly to the newly created state of Israel after a year. From 1970 to 1996 he lived in Moscow, Cairo, Beirut, Cyprus and Paris, finally settling in Ramallah. A member of the PLO’s Executive Council, he wrote the 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence, resigning in opposition to the Oslo accords. His many honours include the Lenin Peace Prize, the Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom, the French medal for Knight of Arts and Letters and the Prinz Claus Award from the Netherlands. He has published over 20 books of poetry. Bloodaxe published translations of three later works in The Butterfly's Burden (2007), translated by Fady Joudah. This was awarded the Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation in 2008.
Mahmoud Darwish died in Houston, Texas, in August 2008, from complications following heart surgery. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas immediately declared three days of national mourning to honour the great Arab writer.
Books by Mahmoud Darwish