Karmen Mikallef Buħaġiar

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Karmen Mikallef Buħaġiar was an active promoter of the Maltese language and literature, known for the long letters wrote to some of Malta's best poets and authors.

She was born in Alexandria, Egypt on 3 April 1920 and studied languages in Alexandria. Encouraged by Ivo Muscat Azzopardi, Mikallef Buħaġiar started promoting the Maltese language early in life. Between 1956 and 1958 she went to London with her family but her love towards the Maltese language kept getting stronger.

Between 1940 and 1961 she wrote around 140 letters to Dun Karm Psaila, Malta's national poet. After his death, she worked hard to establish Dun Karm's legacy. Mikallef Buħaġiar collaborated with numerous Maltese authors who wrote books about Dun Karm or collected his poems.

On her initiative, Professor Oliver Friggieri collected all the poems in one volume, which was published by Klabb Kotba Maltin in 1979 entitled Dun Karm: Poeżiji Miġbura. Friggieri also edited a book featuring the letters Dun Karm wrote to Karmen Mikallef Buħaġiar.

She died at St Mary's Home in Tooting, London, on 23 January at the age of 84.