Exploring Haji Gora Haji’s poetics in his collection Shuwari

  • Flavia Aiello


This article has its roots in a project carried out with Irene Brunotti (University of Leipzig), the result of which was the publication of a bilingual Swahili-English edition of the latest collection of poems by Haji Gora Haji, a well-known Swahili poet from Tumbatu, entitled Shuwari (“The Calm;” Buluu Publishing, 2019). The aim of the paper is to analyse the poetry of Haji Gora Haji with a focus on this latest anthology, dwelling in particular on the great originality of his handling of the Swahili language, cultural repertoires and natural imagery, all essential elements of the poet’s long-lasting dialogue with other Swahili poets and with the readers of/listeners to his poetry.


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Author Biography

Flavia Aiello

Flavia Aiello works as an Associate Professor at the University of Naples “L’Orientale” (Department of Asian, African and Mediterranean Studies). She is the author of numerous publications on Swahili oral and written genres and of translations of modern Swahili literature. For an Italian audience, she has produced Separazione (Detachment, Iride Edizioni, 2005), a translation of the Swahili novel Utengano by Said Ahmed Mohamed, and, together with Roberto Gaudioso, Ushairi na Uhuru: poesie scelte di Abdilatif Abdalla e Euphrase Kezilahabi (Poetry and Freedom: selected poems by Abdilatif Abdalla and Euphrase Kezilahabi; Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”, 2017). She can be reached at: faiello@unior.it