Adrian Grima

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I teach Maltese literature and literary representations of the Mediterranean in the Department of Maltese at the University of Malta and an introductory course on Maltese language and literature at Inalco in Paris. My doctoral thesis about the use of metaphor to construct the national imaginary was supervized by Oliver Friggieri and Joseph A. Buttigieg (University of Notre Dame).

I have published academic works in Maltese, English and Italian and read papers at academic events around the world. In 2014 I co-edited (with Simone Galea) and co-authored a volume on The Teacher, Literature and the Mediterranean (Sense, Rotterdam).

In 2013 I organized the first national cross-disciplinary conference on the irreverent Maltese author Juann Mamo (1886-1941) hosted by the Department of Maltese, and I edited the first three books in a series on the author and his works (SKS). Although I have written about the nationalist poetry of Dun Karm, much of my research in recent years has focused on Mamo and the Realist writers of the interwar period. My reading of Mamo’s work, especially his novel Ulied in-nanna Venut fl-Amerka (1930-31), is partly inspired by postcolonial perspectives and the complex role of the narrator.

A keynote speech I gave in 2014 at St Anne’s College, University of Oxford was published as a book chapter on “The Mediterranean Novel Defying Borders” in the book Minding Borders. Resilient Divisions in Literature, the Body and the Academy (Legenda, 2017).

In 2016 I helped set up, and coordinate, the Diploma in Maltese Literature and a interdisciplinary project on Maltese Oral Traditions, both run by the Department of Maltese in the Faculty of Arts.

I have written critical introductions to literary works by contemporary Maltese writers, including Clare Azzopardi, Norbert Bugeja, Claudia Gauci, John Portelli, and Mario Cardona.

In 2020 I gave a talk at Inalco about political rhetoric in Malta.

As coordinator of the Mediterranean cultural organization Inizjamed, set up in 1998, I was the artistic director of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival between 2007 and 2018. http://www.adriangrima.org

June 2020


I teach Maltese literature and literary representations of the Mediterranean at the University of Malta. I also teach an introductory course on Maltese language and literature at Inalco, Paris. My passion for the Mediterranean perhaps stems from the fact that my paternal great grandfather was an ethnic Maltese born in Corfu who moved to Malta at the end of the 19th century and travelled the world as a cook in the British Navy. I have written and edited academic books and literature (poetry and short stories). I have read papers at academic conferences and poetry at literary festival in many countries of the Mediterranean, Europe, the Americas, Asia, Australia, and the Caribbean.

I have written academic books and papers in Maltese, English and Italian on literature and culture that have been published in Malta and in other countries. Between 1999 and 2015 I published three books of poetry for adults in Maltese and two books of literature for young adults (KKM). My poems have been translated into many languages. Between 1998 and 2018 I was the coordinator of the Mediterranean cultural association based in Malta Inizjamed, that organizes the annual Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival. In 2013 I organized the first national interdisciplinary conference on the unorthodox and irreverent Maltese author Juann Mamo (1886-1941) hosted by the Department of Maltese and edited the first three books in a series on the author (SKS). I am also the coordinator of the Diploma in Maltese Literature and coordinator of a project on Maltese Oral Traditions that we started in 2016. My most recent publication is Skizzi għas-Sette Giugno, a cycle of poems in an album of jazz music by Dominic Galea (2019).


Adrian Grima (Malta, 1968) is an associate professor of Maltese literature at the University of Malta and a visiting lecturer at INALCO in Paris, and he has worked extensively on literary representations of the Mediterranean. His passion for the Mediterranean perhaps stems from the fact that his paternal great grandfather was an ethnic Maltese born in Corfu who moved to Malta at the end of the 19th century and travelled around the world as a cook in the British Navy. 

He has written and edited a number of academic works in Maltese, English and Italian, and has published poetry collections and short stories in Maltese for both adults and adolescents. His work has been translated into 16 languages. 

Three collections of his poetry in translation have appeared in English, and one each in German, Italian and French: The Tragedy of the Elephant (Inizjamed and Midsea, 2005, various translators); Deciphered Lips / Xufftejk Spjegati (2013, Verbal Arts Centre, Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, trans. Catherine McGrotty); Adrian Grima (Hochroth, Berlin, 2010); La coda della freccia / Denb il-Vleġġa (2011, trans. mainly by Mimmo Grasso); and Ici arrivent les mouettes / Hawn Jidħol il-Gawwi (2012, Fondation de Malte, trans. Elizabeth Grech). 

His first collection in Maltese, It-Trumbettier (The Trumpeter, 1999), placed second in the Premio Tivoli Europa Giovani prize for books of poetry published in Europe in 1999 and the book of poetry he co-authored with Immanuel Mifsud, Riħ min-Nofsinhar (2008) (Wind from the South) won the special prize for Most Creative Book awarded by the National Book Council of Malta in 2009. His short story “Triq il-Mediterran” published in the Italian bilingual literary journal Storie won the Premio Storie 2009 per la scrittura momentista (sezione straniera). Other books he edited or co-edited won prizes in the Malta National Book Awards. In 2006 he published his second poetry collection in Maltese Rakkmu

In November 2012, Klabb Kotba Maltin published two books of his poetry and short stories for adolescents, Vleġġa Kkargata and Din Mhix Logħba, both of which won National Book Awards. Klin u Kapriċċi Oħra (KKM) (Rosemary and other caprices), his third solo collection of poems in Maltese, appeared in 2015. In 2017 Midsea Books in Malta and Poetrywala in Mumbai published an English translation of Klin u Kapriċċi Oħra by Albert Gatt, and a collection of his poems translated into Arabic and edited by Walid Nabhan was published by Sefsafa in Cairo, both with the support of the Cultural Export Fund of the Malta Arts Fund. 

His most recent publication is Skizzi għas-Sette Giugno, a cycle of poems in an album with jazz music by Dominic Galea.

Adrian Grima co-founded Inizjamed in 1998 and was the artistic director of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival between 2007 and 2018. adriangrima.org

August 2019