Anna Gréki (1931-66) was a French Algerian poet, a Feminist and Communist involved in the Algerian struggle for independence. Born Colette Anna Grégoire, she grew up in a small town in the Aurès mountains, whose landscape and culture formed the living core of her poetry. A student at the Sorbonne, she left Paris to join the underground Parti Communiste Algérien and the struggle against the French occupation. She was arrested and imprisoned in the infamous Barberousse prison in Algiers, during which time she wrote her first collection, which was smuggled out by a friend and published in Tunisia in 1963. Transferred to a prison camp and deported, she returned to Algeria after independence to complete her studies and found work as a teacher. She died in childbirth at the age of 34.
The Streets of Algiers is the first full English translation of her second collection, Temps forts, published posthumously in 1966, remarkable for its unforgiving clarity, delicate sensuality and formal accomplishment, and its ability to speak words of courage from the depths of great suffering.
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