Saadi Yousef’s versatile work as author, poet, journalist, publisher and political activist emerges from his personal experiences of living a life in exile. Because his writing manifested his socialist and anti-imperialist sympathies, he has witnessed prison from an early age. He has consecutively moved to, and then been forced to leave, Baghdad (1972–1979) for Algeria (1980), Yemen (1981–1982), Beirut (1979–1982) and later Paris, Amman, Damascus, Berlin, Belgrade and Cairo, before finally settling in London. His poems have been nurtured as they emerge from extreme differences of time and place. They take the reader on a journey through sensual discoveries and imaginary realms, and directly to the heart of what is conceived as the here and now. His introspective, melodic writing, recently gathered in Without an Alphabet, Without a Face: Selected Poems (2002), offers the possibility of a more intimate relation with vast and uncertain spaces of being. The eight poems Saadi Yousef contributes to Scenarios pledge allegiance to the former inhabitants of the fortress – the multinational Habsburgian troops – and to what he perceives would have been their sense of displacement in Fortezza / Franzensfeste.
FORTE ASBURGICO, EISACKTAL/VALLE ISARCO,