Susan Nalugwa Kiguli

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Susan Nalugwa Kiguli
Born Susan Nalugwa Kiguli
(1969-06-24) 24 June 1969 (age 48)
Luweero District, Uganda
Occupation Academic, writer
Nationality Ugandan
Alma mater Makerere University,
Genre Poetry
Notable works The 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 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]



  • "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. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  6. ^ a b ACLS, "Fellows and Research: Susan Nalugwa Kiguli F'10." ACLS: 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.
  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]