”Writing, and especially poetry, is for me an act of survival, a necessity”, it is in these terms that the poetess Houda El Fchtali expresses her passion and her fascination for words, and this for their extraordinary power to allow him to travel to parallel worlds. ”Thanks to words, I manage to create parallel worlds to the extent of my aspirations and my inspirations.
A way to free myself from the heaviness of the world where I live, where we all live and above all to be able to express my thoughts, without embarrassment or resistance because if I had to choose, I would have preferred to live in another era. , she said, while defining herself as “a soul from another past”, in an interview given to MAP on the sidelines of her participation in this 27th edition of the International Book and Publishing Fair (SIEL 2022) which is being held exceptionally this year in Rabat, proclaimed African Capital of Culture.
During this fair, this trilingual Moroccan poetess (Arabic, French and English), will present her last two collections, namely, ”The edge of the blue” (The edge of the blue) and ”Written women” .
Two collections which are added to two others published previously, namely ”My words and worlds” (My words and my worlds) and ”Shades of my soul” (Shades of my soul). A polyglot poet, Houda El Fchtali also asserts herself as a poet with multiple influences and inspirations. On the linguistic register, she confides that, while writing mainly in English, she nevertheless likes to write poems in French and Arabic.
In terms of influences and sources of inspiration, she makes it known that her poetry is very influenced by the arts in their entirety and states, in particular painting, cinema, music (jazz, blues and Jacques Brel), philosophy (Nietzsche and Spinoza ). In painting, she expresses her fascination for the “tawny master” Henri Matisse, whose works are at the origin of some of her poems. And also, locally, the paintings of her friend, the artist-painter Souad Sahel, who mainly paints portraits of women, which deeply inspired her in her fourth collection released last year in French, ”Women Written ”.
A poetic text that brings together around fifty poems on women in all their forms but without a feminist a priori. Because, for this poetess of water, image and color, exclusively blue, writing about women is not the monopoly of feminists. Defining herself as a poetess of the absolute and the infinite, in perpetual quest for divine truth in the immensity of the universe, Houda El Fchtali confides that “the Divine is always present in her poems”. . Hence, his fascination for Sufism and the great masters of this spiritual current like Ibn Arabi. Houda El Fchtali is a poetess of the soul, poems that impress with their spirituality, even their mysticism. Because, for her, being always comes before appearance and the truth of beings and objects is not accessible at first glance.
In a preface to the collection ”Written Women”, the poet Abdelillah Jorio writes: ”Houda does not write to tell stories or depict a setting and sublimate it. She does not dive into the past to resuscitate her memory. She reincarnates her people, questions their silence, gives them this half-tragic, half-theatrical posture to reappear and continue to be present in her own world. And the world of Houda El Fchtali is both unique and common. A world where the real and the unreal form a “common room”.
An infinite world, without beyond. And to devote herself fully and serenely to this quest for infinity, Houda El Fchtali decided this year to take early retirement after more than thirty years teaching English almost everywhere in schools in the Kingdom, especially at the end of journey in Meknes, her beloved hometown to which she has devoted numerous chronicles published in the written and electronic press, in addition to writings on the illustrious natives of the Ismaili capital, among others, the composer Nabil Benabdejalil and the artist- painter Mohammad Kacimi. She is also president of the ”Erato” Poetry Forum for Art and Culture and also a delegate of the ”Motivational Strips” International Poetry Forum.
She has also contributed to the publication of four international anthologies of poetry and a collective collection “100 poets for the Union of the Great Maghreb” bringing together the works of no less than 124 poetesses and poets from the Maghreb.