Born in Paris in 1930, French poet and philosopher Michel Deguy prefers to be named a ‘writer of poems’ or ‘the poet I am seeking to be’ and his multiform work escapes the straitjacket of classification, combining philosophical thinking, poetry and literary culture. A trained philosopher, Deguy is a thinker-poet.
We regret to inform you that M. Michel Deguy had to cancel his participation in this year’s festival due to ill health. A reading slot will be dedicated to his work and translations of his work as facilitated by Prof Catherine du Toit.
His ability to bring together poetic practice and theoretical reflection turned him into a major figure on the French intellectual scene in the 1970s. Known for his immense generosity and energy, he has contributed to the development of many French literary and philosophical institutions over the years, and still edits Les Temps Modernes, the journal founded by Jean-Paul Sartre.
Deguy has written more than 30 books published in France and translated into many languages, and has received numerous awards, among them the 1998 Gran Prix National de la poésie, the 2000 Grand Prix de la Société des Gens de Lettres, and the 2004 Grand Prix de poésie de l’Académie Française. He is also active as a translator of, among others, Martin Heidegger, Gongora, Sappho, Dante Alighieri, and various American poets.
Deguy’s participation in dancing in other words is supported by the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS).