Photo by Katel Delia
Photo by Katel Delia.

Antoine Cassar is a London-born Maltese poet, translator, editor, and creative activist.
He writes in Maltese and English, mostly about maps and borders, cities and language, walking and mental health.

Antoine’s poetry has featured on Lithub, RN Books & Arts (Australia), France 3 TV, Radio Nacional de España, SFR2 Kultur (Switzerland), and RTV Slovenija, among others.

Click here to download a portfolio booklet.

Erbgħin Jum (Forty Days, Ede, 2017) is a book-length poem on childhood trauma, depression, and walking as a process of healing. A brutally personal pilgrimage in the cartographies of the past, without compass or walking stick.

Awarded the 2018 Malta National Book Prize, and shortlisted for the 2020 European Poet of Freedom award (based in Poland).

Selected ‘days’ and ‘nights’ are published in English on Versopolis. Self-translated, edited by Albert Gatt. With an introductory essay by Dr Adrian Grima.

A sample English booklet is available upon request.

more about 40 Days

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Passaport (2009; 3rd ed. Ede 2019), a long poem printed in the form of an anti-passport for all peoples and all landscapes, has been published in over a dozen languages; adapted for the stage by theatre groups in Malta, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Canada; and set to music in France, Italy and Australia. Proceeds from the sale of the booklet are donated to grassroots associations supporting refugees in the community.

more about Passaport

Other publications include:

Silan (Ede Chapbooks, 2022), erotic poems at play with numbers in Arabic script

Nannu at the Kitchen Table (Ede, 2020), a long poem written during the first pandemic lockdown

Mappa tal-Mediterran (Għqd. Malti, 2013), a long poem describing the shapes of the Mediterranean Sea, its coastlines and some of its major and minor islands, in relation to the early and modern histories of the Mediterranean peoples. Set to music by POW Ensemble

Bejn / Between (Skarta, 2011), a bilingual book of poems

Merħba, a poem of hospitality (2009), a narrative, musical homage to the unfailing and unconditional hospitality and warmth that welcome travellers the world over, despite the tragedies and hardships lived by families and communities on a daily basis. Awarded the United Planet Writing Prize

Mużajk, an exploration in multilingual verse (Skarta, 2008), multilingual sonnets

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As a literary translator, Antoine’s latest publication is a Maltese version of Wisława Symborska’s collection Chwila / Moment (Waqt, published by Faraxa Books, 2023). He is currently preparing a volume of Pablo Neruda’s verse in Maltese, with Whitman’s Leaves of Grass waiting in the wings.

A limited edition of translated excerpts from Astrid Alben’s Plainspeak (Prototype) was published as Kliemskjett (Kotba Calleja), in time for the 2018 Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival.

Antoine has also rendered the work of several Maltese authors into English (among them short story writer Pierre J. Mejlak, awarded the 2014 EU Prize for Literature) and into Spanish (Alex Vella Gera’s Troyano was published in Chile by Librosdementira in 2019).

Since November 2022, Antoine is the curator-editor of the Ede Chapbook series. High-quality hand-bound editions of contemporary poetry, short stories, drama and essays, in Maltese and English, with a view to promoting fresh new voices.

Available at Kixott, Mosta, or online.

Logo designed by Steven Scicluna.

In 2015, Antoine founded the social media project Spread poetry, not fear, in reaction to the Paris attacks and the subsequent media scaremongering and manipulation. Sister initiatives were launched in Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Spain and the Netherlands.

In 2013, Antoine edited Le monde n’est pas rond, a multilingual artistic newspaper on migration and borders, on behalf of No one is illegal – Luxembourg. In the same year, in reaction to the Maltese government’s new deportation policy and the ensuing public wave of racism and xenophobia, Antoine launched and edited the digital anthology Mhux f’Isimna (Not in our name).

Antoine has given creative writing workshops at universities in Malta and India, and to students of a migrant background and refugee women in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Palestine and Switzerland.

Antoine holds a PhD in Medieval Literature from the Univ. de Alcalá (Spain), with a thesis on the origins of the sonnet, early Iberian translations and imitations of Petrarch, and a comparative metrical and syntactic analysis of the sonnets of the Canzoniere and the first 107 sonnets written by Spanish and Catalan poets.