Blind Algerian-born poet wins Israel prize

 Algerian-born poet Erez Biton is the first Mizrahi to be awarded the Israel Prize for Literature. The Jerusalem Post reports:

Erez Biton has been blind since childhood

Biton, who has been blind since childhood, was born in Algeria and is
the first poet of Mizrahi descent to win the Israel Prize in
Literature.

His well-known works include 1976’s Mincha Marokait
(Moroccan Gift); 1979’s Sefer Hanana (Book of Mint); 1989’s Tzipor Ben
Yabashot (Bird between Continents); and 2009’s Timbisert, A Moroccan
Bird.

“The five books of poetry he published… are the epitome
of courageous dealings,” wrote the Israel Prize committee, “sensitive
and deep with a wide range of personal and collective experiences
centered around the pain of migration, planting roots in the country
and the reestablishment of the Mizrahi identity as an integral part of
the overall Israeli portrait.”

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