Martin Orwin was born in 1963. He studied Arabic and Amharic as an undergraduate at SOAS and he then went on to obtain a PhD in the phonology of Somali.
Currently Senior Lecturer in Somali and Amharic at SOAS, he has taught there since 1992. He's published numerous articles on Somali language and poetry, and has carried out a good deal of pioneering research in the Horn of Africa. Martin has ongoing research interests in the metrics of Somali poetry and has translated a number of Somali poems, two of which were published in Modern Poetry in Translation (No.17 Mother Tongues Special Edition 2001).
Martin has worked closely with a number of Somali poets including Gaarriye and Hadraawi and is a long-term supporter of the Poetry Translation Centre.