Susan Nalugwa Kiguli

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Susan Nalugwa Kiguli
BornSusan Nalugwa Kiguli
(1969-06-24) 24 June 1969 (age 49)
Luweero District, Uganda
OccupationAcademic, writer
Alma materMakerere University,
Notable worksThe African Saga

Susan Nalugwa Kiguli (born 24 June 1969 in Luweero District, Uganda) is a Ugandan poet and literary scholar.[1] She is an associate professor of literature at Makerere University. Kiguli has been an advocate for creative writing in Africa, including service as a founding member of FEMRITE,[2] a judge for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (African Region, 1999), and an advisory board member for the African Writers Trust.[3] As a poet, Kiguli is best known for her 1998 collection The African Saga,[4][5] as a scholar, and for her work on oral poetry and performance.[6]


  • 2005: Doctor of Philosophy in English, The University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
  • 1996: Master of Science in literary linguistics for teaching English language and literature, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • 1994: Master of Arts in literature, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
  • 1991: Bachelor of Arts education, Makerere University

Poetry and performances[edit]

Kiguli has participated as a poet and reader in numerous literary festivals and conferences, including the International Literature Festival Berlin (2008);[1] the Poetry Africa Festival in Kwazulu–Natal, South Africa (2009);[7] the World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya (2007);[5] and the Leeds Centre for African Studies, University of Leeds, United Kingdom (2005).

In addition to her critically acclaimed collection The African Saga,[8] which won the National Book Trust of Uganda Poetry Award (1999),[9] Kiguli has also written poems for children – four of which were featured by Books LIVE, as "Animal Portraits by Susan Kiguli (Note of Affection No. 4, Love Africa Carnival)"[10] and selected by readers as "one of the most loved Love Notes of its month."[11] Kiguli has discussed her own childhood reading experiences in an interview with BooksLIVE.[12]

Kiguli has also contributed poetry for children to the collection Michael's Eyes: The War against the Ugandan Child,[13] an international collaborative effort "intended to raise the global awareness of the situation in Northern Uganda," particularly concerning the troubles caused by the Lord's Resistance Army.[14]

Kiguli poem’s were also featured in Eye of the Storm: A Photographic Journey Across Uganda,[15] with photography by David Pluth and Pierre-Francois Didek.

Kiguli has also been featured by Ultra Violet: Indian feminists unplugged,[16] and by Department of English & Creative Writing, Lancaster University.[17]

Scholarship and criticism[edit]

Praised by the poet and critic Alex Smith as "the leading intellectually astute voice in contemporary East African poetry,"[11] Kiguli was an American Council of Learned Societies Fellow for 2010, with her research focusing on "Oral Poetry and Popular Song in South Africa and Uganda: A Study of Contemporary Performance.”[6]

On the same general topic, Kiguli’s recent intellectual contributions include “The Symbolism of Music Festivals in Buganda: The case of Ekitoobero and Enkuuka y’omwaka,” in Performing Community[18] (2008) and "Mapping the Dream of Cultural Continuity: Songs at Enkuuka y’omwaka” in Performing Change[19] (2009).

Alex Smith also found noteworthy Kiguli's comments on A Hundred Silences,[20] the third collection of poems by Gabeba Baderoon.[11]

Published works[edit]


  • Home Floats in the Distance. Wunderhorn; Auflage. 2012. ISBN 978-3884234044.
  • The African Saga. Femrite Publications. 1998. ISBN 9789970901005.


  • "I laugh at Amin","My mother in three photographs" in Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva, ed. (2014). A thousand voices rising: An anthology of contemporary African poetry. BN Poetry Foundation. ISBN 978-9970-9234-0-3.
  • "Weeping landa" in Painted Voices: A collage of art and poetry, volume II. Femrite Publications. 2009. ISBN 978-9970-700-18-9.


  1. ^ a b Gandtschi, Ali. "Susan Kiguli (Uganda)". Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin, 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  2. ^ "History of FEMRITE", FEMRITE – Uganda Women Writers' Association. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Advisory Board", African Writers Trust. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  4. ^ The African Saga.
  5. ^ a b World Social Forum. "Susan Kiguli (Uganda)". Poetic Voices at the World Social Forum Nairobi, Kenya, 19–23 January 2007. Archived 2 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  6. ^ a b ACLS, "Fellows and Research: Susan Nalugwa Kiguli F'10." American Council of Learned Societies: Advancing the Humanities, 27 July 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  7. ^ "Susan Kiguli (Uganda)". 19th Poetry Africa Festival, 5–9 October 2009. Centre for Creative Arts, University of KwaZulu-Nata. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  8. ^ The African Saga (ISBN 978-9970901005)
  9. ^ "FEMRITE Achievements and Milestones." FEMRITE – Uganda Women Writers' Association. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  10. ^ Smith, Alex. “Animal Portraits by Susan Kiguli (Note of Affection #4, Love Africa Carnival).” Books LIVE: The internet newspaper for SA books, 9 September 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  11. ^ a b c Smith, Alex. "Hogging the Apple: Susan Kiguli’s experience of reading Gabeba Baderoon’s poetry." Books LIVE: The internet newspaper for SA books, 4 February 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  12. ^ Little Hands @ Books LIVE. "Susan Kiguli’s formative reading experiences." Books LIVE: The internet newspaper for SA books, 17 March 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2011 from
  13. ^ Michael's Eyes: The War against the Ugandan Child. Archived 8 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ Granqvist, Raoul J., ed. Michael's Eyes: The War against the Ugandan Child. Institutionen för Moderna Språk. Umeå universitet. Umeå, Sweden, 2006.
  15. ^ Eye of the Storm: A Photographic Journey Across Uganda / L'oeil du Cyclone: A travers l' Ouganda
  16. ^ Kiguli, Susan. "Two poems." Ultra Violet: Indian feminists unplugged, 1 January 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  17. ^ Kiguli, Susan. Translating "Sing Like A River" into "Yira Ng'o Mugga". Crossing Borders Open Day, Department of English & Creative Writing, Bowland College. Lancaster University, February 2006. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  18. ^ Performing Community
  19. ^ Performing Change.
  20. ^ A Hundred Silences

External links[edit]