An Afghan poet, Maryam Mitra, has been awarded the Adelbert von Chamisso Literary Prize in Germany for her work “Life on the Margins.”
German media reported that this award will be presented to Ms. Mitra in a special ceremony on the 19th of November.
The Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, known as the Adelbert-von-Chamisso-Preis in German, was established in 1985 as a prestigious literary award in Germany.
This award is unique in that it is presented to works created by authors whose mother tongue is not German, much like Adelbert von Chamisso himself. The prize is generously sponsored by Robert Bosch Stiftung, honouring and celebrating the diverse voices and literary contributions that transcend language boundaries.
Maryam Mitra, a poet and writer, was born in Afghanistan in 1992 and currently resides in Berlin. She worked as a journalist in Kabul and obtained her master’s degree in social sciences from Humboldt University in Berlin.
She currently works as a research assistant at Leipzig University. Her first collection of poems, “Life on the Margins,” was published in Persian in Kabul. Before this, her poems were translated into German and published by Wallstein Verlag in Germany.
In a significant moment, this award is being bestowed upon an Afghan female poet amidst the backdrop of the Taliban’s imposition of over fifty decrees in Afghanistan, which have stripped away numerous fundamental rights of women, including education and employment.
Human rights organizations have strongly criticized the Taliban, accusing them of perpetrating a form of “gender apartheid” that severely limits women’s freedoms and opportunities. This recognition underscores the resilience and courage of Afghan women who continue to use their voices to inspire change in challenging circumstances.