Oxford Translation Day – A Discussion and Poetry Reading of Abdilatif Abdalla’s Voice of Agony

sauti ya dhiki book cover

Abdilatif Abdalla and Annmarie Drury read from Abdalla’s poetry collection Sauti ya Dhiki (Voice of Agony), one of the most important Swahili poetry collections of the twentieth century, and discuss its art and the story behind it. Imprisoned from 1969 to 1972 for his political activism, Abdalla wrote his poems on toilet paper. First smuggled out of prison, they were published after his release, in 1973, by Oxford University Press. Abdalla and Drury talk about the book’s first-ever English version, a forthcoming volume translated by the late novelist Ken Walibora Waliaula and edited by Drury, about the experience, challenges, and rewards of creating that volume, and about the link Sauti ya Dhiki has to the poetic tradition of Abdilatif’s birthplace, the coastal town of Mombasa.

This event is part of Oxford Translation Day, organised by Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation (OCCT).

Find out more and register for the event on the OCCT website.

(Register by 10 June)