Book Review: Berber Odes

Book cover Berber Odes by Michael PeyronPart of Eland’s Poetry of Place collection, Berber Odes is a compilation of poetry in translation edited by Michael Peyron, visiting professor at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco.

From my year spent studying abroad at Al Akhwayn in 2003-2004, I still have vivid memories of professor Peyron’s 8:00 a.m. course, History and Culture of the Berbers. Since no textbooks were available, we used a heavy, photocopied reader that he’d compiled over the years. It was full of academic essays, poetry, proverbs, snippets on Berber dialects, black and white photos and historical accounts.

During class, Peyron would often deviate from the day’s lecture to give a quick pronunciation lesson, share the tale of a Berber saint or expound on a proverb. His excitement made clear that he loved learning about the Berber people and sharing their culture with others. (more…)