The 2019 Niyi Osundare International Poetry Festival is scheduled for July 15-17 at the University of Calabar in Nigeria. The festival, in its fifth year, was created in honor of Osundare, a University of New Orleans English professor and one of Nigeria’s most acclaimed poets.
The festival features poetry readings, music, scholarly conferences, literary and cultural outreach, theatre performances, dance and drumming. Retired Harvard University professor Biodum Jeyifo will deliver the keynote address entitled “Popular Poetry and the Search for Development in the Modern State.”
Osundare is the author of 18 books of poetry, including “Songs from the Marketplace,” “Village Voices,” “Waiting Laughter’s,” “Tender Moments” and “City without People: The Katrina Poems.” He is the 2014 recipient of the Nigerian National Order of Merit Awards, the nation’s most prestigious prize in science, medicine, engineering and the humanities.
He has also written four plays, a book of essays and numerous monographs and articles on literature, language, culture and society.
Osundare’s areas of specialization are African literature, literature of the African diaspora, literary stylistics, sociolinguistics and creative writing.