Syrian poet Adonis wins Germany's Goethe prize

May 26, 2011 04:09

AMMAN - Syrian poet Adonis, who has championed democracy and secular thought in the Middle East, was awarded Germany's prestigious Goethe Prize on Wednesday.

"The selection committee considered Adonis the most important Arab poet of his generation and granted him the prize for his cosmopolitan (work) and contribution to international literature," the German government said in a statement.

It said Adonis, who calls himself "the pagan poet" will receive the 50,000 euro ($70,320) prize, which is awarded every three years, at a ceremony in Frankfurt, Goethe's home city, on Aug. 28.

The announcement came as an uprising against autocratic rule, inspired by the revolutions that toppled the rulers of Tunisia and Egypt, is sweeping Adonis' homeland Syria, despite a crackdown that has killed hundreds of civilians.

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