Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi is one of the leading African poets writing in Arabic today. He has gained a wide audience in his native Sudan for his imaginative approach to poetry and for the delicacy and emotional frankness of his lyrics. Saddiq was born in 1969 and grew up in Omdurman where he still lives. He is the cultural editor of Al-Sudani newspaper.
His first poetry collection Songs of Solitude was published in 1996 (second edition, 1999). He has also published The Sultan’s Labyrinth (1996) and The Far Reaches of the Screen… (1999 & 2000); all three collections were published in one volume as Saddiq’s collected poems in Cairo in 2009.
Saddiq came to the UK for the first time in 2005 to take part in The Poetry Translation Centre’s World Poets’ Tour, receiving a rapturous response from audiences here, both English-speaking and Sudanese. Since then he has returned to the UK to work with the PTC in 2006, 2008 and 2010. He took part in Poetry International in Rotterdam in 2010 and will be reading at the Berlin Poetry Festival in June 2012, as well as representing Sudan for Poetry Parnassus.
The Poetry Translation Centre published a dual-language chapbook of his work, Poems, in 2008; twenty-nine of his poems, in the original Arabic and in translation, are available on the PTC website, together with two podcasts of him reading alongside his translator, Sarah Maguire.
photo Crispin Hughes