Montréal awards the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal 2022 to
Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch for their literary work “The Good Arabs”
This year, the city is awarding the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal and the related $15,000 grant to Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch for their book “The Good Arabs”, an English poetry collection published by Metonymy Press. Swinging from post-explosion Beirut to a Parc-Extension balcony in summer, the verse and prose poems in “The Good Arabs” ground the reader in place, language, and the body. The collection is an interlocking and rich offering of the speaker’s communities, geographical surroundings both expansive and precise, and family both biological and chosen.
For the second time since 1965, the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal is awarded for literary work published in English. The jury was charmed by the quality of the work, its originality and the depth of the experiences it recounts.
This year, the jury of the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal unanimously chose a bold work, The Good Arabs, by Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch, which is anchored in the Montreal 3 identity, between Parc-Ex and Beirut. […] Original and fascinating in its design, this unclassifiable book written between poetry, narrative and conversations thinks about our relationship to the world between private and political. The hybrid invents new spaces away from unique roots, between real and poetic space,” said Carole David, jury chair.
“Once again this year, the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal sheds light on exceptional literary work that contributes to Montréal’s vast cultural repertoire, one that is as rich and diverse as the city itself. “The Good Arabs” is a poetry collection that defies genres and portrays both the Arab and Trans identities through the body’s immense range of experiences, between the country of origin and Montréal,” stated Ericka Alneus, executive committee member responsible for culture and heritage.