Alaawi Kazem Kshish

Karbala poet embraces ‘simple poetic speech’ in new collection

KARBALA– Alaawi Kazem Kshish, a renowned poet from Karbala, has released his fifth poetry collection, “Trying to Find the Rhythm.” The collection features an array of styles including classical, free verse, and prose poetry. Kshish aims to break free from what he describes as the “alleged regular rhythm” to explore the natural flow inherent in all things.

Born in 1962, Kshish earned a master’s degree in Arabic Language from the College of Education at the University of Karbala and a Ph.D. with a dissertation titled “The Philosophy of Rhythm in Contemporary Iraqi Criticism.”

In an interview with 964media, Kshish shared insights into his latest work. “My new collection’s poems embrace a straightforward poetic style, eschewing complex rhetorical flourishes and obscure metaphors that often border on delirium under the guise of creativity. Instead, they draw from the tangible world and the interplay of nature and the self, grounded in reality and simple metaphors,” he said.

Kshish challenges the traditional notion that rhythm in poetry, a concept borrowed from music, should dominate. He argues that unlike music, poetry is an evolving speech flow that should not be restricted by structured rhythms. “A system tends to rebel against itself to avoid repetition, an established and active creative principle,” Kshish explained.

He further elaborated, “Searching for rhythm suggests its absence, as the universe, time, speech, love, visions, and thoughts naturally flow and reveal their beauty in the tangible aspects of our vast nature, which resembles a constantly evolving book authored by a brilliant creator.”

Throughout his career, Kshish has been recognized with numerous awards. He received the first poetry prize from the Union of Writers of Asia and Africa magazine in Tunisia in 1991. The following year, he earned second place in the Youth Literature competition by the Cultural Affairs Department at Iraq’s Ministry of Culture and Information for his debut collection, “The End of Presence.” His accolades include the State Creativity Award for the best Iraqi publication in 1993, the Al-Sada magazine award in the UAE in 2000, the University of Karbala award in 2003, and the East-West Diwan Award in Cairo in 2006 for “Sumerian Herb.”

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