Mohammed Bennis was born in Fes, Morocco in 1948. He developed an interest in literature, and above all poetry, during his first years at college. In 1971, he founded the avant-garde and influential literary journal Al-Thakafa al-Jadida (New Culture), which he continued publishing until it was banned in 1984. In 1985, together with a group of university teachers and authors, he started the publishing house Toubqal, now one of the best-regarded literary publishers in Morocco. In 1996, he co-founded the House of Poetry in Morocco, and until 2003 served as its president.