Adonis was born Ali Ahmad Said Esber in western Syria in 1930. He studied at Damascus University, and moved to Beirut, Lebanon, in 1956, where he joined Yusuf Al-Khal and worked with him at Shi’r (‘poetry’) magazine, one of the Arab world’s most influential literary journals. In 1985 he relocated to Paris, where he lives today. Adonis is heralded as the leader of the modernist movement in Arabic literature, a poet who speaks with the full force of his art, and a poet who takes risks. His work includes over 50 books of poetry, criticism, and translation, and is translated into many languages. In 2011, Adonis won the Goethe Prize.