Rubadiri passes away/ War poetry celebrated – Poetry News Roundup September 18th

Today on My Poetic Side we take a look at the life of Professor David Rubadiri the Malawian poet and playwright. We also have another article about war poets in the run up to the centenary commemorations later this year.

Malawian Poet and Playwright Passes Away

Professor David Rubadiri, the Malawian diplomat, poet and playwright, has passed away at the age of 88.

He had a lengthy career in the political field and was heavily involved in education both in his home country and a number of others. He was considered by many to be amongst the most anthologised post-independence poets of the continent, and amongst those authors who were quintessentially African.

From 1941 to 1950 he studied at King’s College in Uganda, before graduating from the University of Kampala where he received his Batchelors in English literature and History. He continued his studies in the UK both at King’s College, Cambridge and the University of Bristol where he received his Diploma in Education.

In 1964 at Malawi’s independence he became the first ambassador to the US and the UN for the country, however he only held the post until 1965 when he broke ranks with the President.

From 1968 to 1975 he was exiled and taught at the University of Makerere, he was again exiled whilst Idi Amin was in power.

In 1997 he was reappointed to the position as Malawi’s ambassador to the UN.

Some of his poetry was published in a 1963 anthology titled “Modern Poetry of Africa”. He also published a novel in 1967; “No Bride Price”, in which he was critical of the regime under President Banda.

In 2005 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Strathclyde.

For the last few years of his life Rubadiri had been living in retirement on a smallholding with his first wife who he married in 1955. He is survived by numerous grandchildren who are spread all over the globe

One Hundred Years of World War One Poets

As we get closer the centenary commemorations of the end of World War one, towns and villages all over the country are holding their own events to mark the occasion.

St Andrews Church in Penrith are joining that list of places, with their talk and discussion on the World War One poets which will take place on 20th October.

The event is the result of a collaboration between Penrith Remembers and North Lakes U3A. They are hoping to trace the popularity of poetry over the last century, “The War Poets” are held in far higher regards in recent times than they were following the war. They are hoping to look at both poets who wrote during the war and died for their country like John McCrae and Wilfred Owen, as well as those poets who have written about poignant lines about the war since like Philip Larkin who in 1964 wrote  “Never such innocence, never before or since.” The inspiration behind this line was a group of young men waiting to enlist.

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