Reesom Haile was Eritrea’s first internationally known poet. He wrote in Tigrinya, one of Eritrea’s nine major languages. In exile during Eritrea’s war for independence from Ethiopia, he served for over two decades as a Development Communications consultant, working with UN Agencies, governments and NGOs around the world before returning to Eritrea in 1994. His first collection of Tigrinya poetry, Waza ms Qum Neger nTensae Hager (1997), won the Raimok prize, Eritrea’s highest award for literature. He published two other books of poetry, translated by Charles Cantalupo and published by Red Sea Press – We Have Our Voice (2000) and We Invented the Wheel (2002) before he died in 2003.
– from Charles Cantalupo’s introduction in MPT Series 3/14 Polyphony