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Manchester - Translating Somali Poetry with Emily Hasler and Elmi Ali

The International Anthony Burgess Foundation

Manchester - Translating Somali Poetry with Emily Hasler and Elmi Ali

The Poetry Translation Centre will be celebrating International Mother Languages Day as part of a day of workshops being organised by Manchester Writing School at Manchester Met. These translation sessions will celebrate Manchester’s recent designation as a UNESCO City of Literature and provide a taste of the translation process. The workshops will be lead by the PTC, the Writing School’s visiting fellows André Naffis-Sahely and David Shook, and special guests Mary Jean Chan .

The Poetry Translation Centre workshop will start the day at 9:30am with a session on Somali Poetry. The workshop will be facilitated by the UK poet Emily Hasler and the bridge translations will be provided by local poet and translator Elmi Ali.

The workshops will run from 9.15am-5.30pm and attendance is free but places are strictly limited and subject to advanced booking via EventBrite. The full programme of sessions will be circulated to attendees ahead of the day. These sessions are open to everyone.


Cabdiqadir Qalinle is a unique poetic voice and part of a new school of contemporary Somali poetry. Currently based in Hargeysa, Somaliland; he hails from Baalidhaye a town in the Somali Region of Ethiopia and was educated in Burco. Thematically Qalinle’s poetry percolates between love and political activism both being traditional poetic concerns in Somali language poetry. Qalinle uses the word to capture and reflect the spirit of the youth to the populous and believes poetry is an act of life. The poem 'Garnaqis' (2015) is a brilliant example of Qalinle’s socio-politically active poetry. 

Workshop Facilitator

Emily Hasler lives on the Essex-side of the Stour. She has been published widely in magazines and anthologies, including Poetry London, Rialto, Magma, The Salt Book of Younger Poets and Dear World and Everyone In It. A pamphlet, Natural Histories (Salt), was published in 2011 and she is working on a full collection. In 2013 she was a Hawthornden Fellow and in 2014 she received an Eric Gregory Award. She owns an elderly but sharp rescue cat called Marple.

Bridge Translator

Elmi Ali is a writer, director, facilitator and translator based in the North-West. He writes poetry, short fiction and for the stage. Elmi’s latest written and directed work includes Survival, Royal Exchange Co-lab festival 2017, Water Seeds not Stones, a one-man show, part of Contact Flying Solo Festival 2017 and Said the Seismograph about the Tremor which was scratched as part of HOME theatre’s Push Festival 2018.