This picture shows Lebanese prose poet pioneer Ounsi EL Hage. (The Daily Star/Stringer)
BEIRUT: Writer Ounsi El Hage, one of the most prominent contemporary prose poets working in Arabic, died Tuesday at the age of 76.
Hage passed away after a long battle with illness, according to local media. The Lebanese daily An-Nahar, where Hage served as editor in chief between 1992 and 2003, reported he had been in frail health for the past two months. He continued to write a weekly column in Al Akhbar, where he was also deputy editor in chief, until shortly before his death.
The son of journalist-translator Louis El Hage, Ounsi studied at Lycée Français but graduated from La Sagesse High School.
He began publishing short stories, essays and poems in cultural magazines while he was still a high school student, and wrote for a number of newspapers and journals throughout his illustrious career. Hage has also published six volumes of poetry and a book of essays in three volumes.
He translated more than 10 plays of Shakespeare, Lonesco, Camus and Brecht into Arabic.
Hage, married to the late Layla Daou, is survived by a son and a daughter.
*An earlier version of this article mistakenly gave Ounsi El Hage's age at time of death as 77. He was 76. The Daily Star regrets the error.
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