Tchicaya U Tam'si

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Tchicaya U Tam'si
BornGérald-Félix Tchicaya
(1931-08-25)August 25, 1931
Mpili, French Equatorial Africa (now Republic of the Congo)
Died(1988-04-22)April 22, 1988
OccupationPoet, Journalist

Tchicaya U Tam'si (born Gérald-Félix Tchicaya 25 August 1931 - 22 April 1988) was a Congolese author; his pen name means "small paper that speaks for a country" in Kikongo.


Born in Mpili, near Brazzaville, French Equatorial Africa (now Congo) in 1931, U Tam'si spent his childhood in France, where he worked as a journalist until he returned to his homeland in 1960. Back in Congo, he continued to work as a journalist; during this time he maintained contact to the politician Patrice Lumumba. In 1961, he started to work for UNESCO.

He died in 1988 in Bazancourt, Oise, near Paris.[1]

Since 1989, the Tchicaya U Tam'si Prize for African Poetry is awarded every two years in the Moroccan city of Asilah.


U Tam'si's poetry incorporates elements of surrealism; it often has vivid historic images, and comments African life and society, as well as humanity in general.


Tchicaya U Tam'si was awarded the Grand Prix de la Mémoire of the GPLA 2014.[2]

Selected works[edit]

  • Ces fruits si doux de l'arbre a pain, 1990
  • Les Cancrelats, 1980
  • La Veste d'intérieur suivi de Notes de veille, 1977
  • L'Arc musical, 1969
  • Le Ventre, 1964
  • Épitomé, 1962
  • À triche-coeur, 1960
  • Feu de brousse, 1957
  • Le Mauvais Sang, 1955


  1. ^ "Tchicaya U Tam’si. Congolese poet", Encyclopædia Britannica.
  2. ^ "Littérature : Tchicaya U'tam'si lauréat du Grand prix des associations littéraires. - : toute l'actualité du Bassin du Congo".

External links[edit]