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Nisrine Mbarki

The Netherlands

Nisrine Mbarki (1977) is a writer, poet and translator. She teaches philosophy and literature in primary schools. She completed a writing course at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht and studied philosophy in Tilburg. In 2004 she won the El Hizjra prize for poetry. “I was born in Tilburg but I lived in Morocco between the ages of seven and twelve,” said Nisrine. “I speak Dutch, Arabic, French and Berber, and consider all of these languages my mother tongue. Although my written Arabic isn’t too great. What I sometimes do is write my poems in Dutch and translate them into Arabic. Arabic is a highly complex, rich language. For example, there are about a hundred words for ‘lion’.” She still writes stories, plays and poems, and also gives philosophy lessons to young children. Nisrine will be reciting her poems for the Children’s Night of Poetry.