(1906 – 1963)
Rużar Briffa was a Maltese poet and dermatologist, and a major figure in Maltese literature.
He was known as the poet “of smallness and simplicity – the best”. Rużar Briffa studied at the Saint Elmo elementary state school and at the Valletta Lyceum. Having obtained his matriculation certificate, in 1923 he started teaching at elementary schools. In 1924, he began his studies in medicine at the University of Malta and completed them in London in venereology and dermatology. In 1932 he became a specialist in skin diseases. He was known for his humility and his greatheartedness in dealing with his patients, especially those suffering from leprosy.
According to his wife Louisette, he dreamed of beautifying disfigured and suffering patients through his medical work. This aesthetic concern emerges frequently in his literary work, so much so that he was known as the “Poet of Beauty” amongst his contemporaries.
In 1931, together with his friend Ġużè Bonnici, he founded the Għaqda tal-Malti Università, which is active to date, and started issuing the magazine Leħen il-Malti (“Voice of the Maltese”).
Rużar Briffa died on 22 February 1963.