The Niyi Osundare International Poetry Festival 2019 will be hosted at the University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State on July 15 to 17, 2019.
Niyi Osundare has authored 18 books of poetry, two books of selected poems, four plays, a book of essays, and numerous monographs and articles on literature, language, culture, and society. The New Orleans based Nigerian has won prizes for poetry and other forms like the Noma Award, and the Commonwealth Poetry Prize. In 2014, he was the sole winner of the Nigeria National Order of Merit Award, which is the officially recognized award for excellence in the Nigerian academy.
The Niyi Osundare Poetry Festival was set up in 2015 to celebrate both poetry and Osundare one of the most recognised names on the continent where poetry is concerned. Since then Nigerians have seen the best in poetry and other literary forms in the years that followed of 2016, 2017, and last year.
The fifth edition of the festival is set for Cross River State this July with eminent critic and academic, Prof Biodun Jeyifo delivering the keynote speech entitled ‘Popular Poetry and the Search for Development in the Modern State’ Prof Jeyifo recently retired from Harvard University. Others to speak at the event are Professors JOJ Agbada, Saleh Abdu and Joe Ushie as well as Dr Obari Gomba and poet Odia Ofeimun.
Apart from the speech giving, those who attend the festival can expect to be treated to poetry, music, theatre, dance, and drumming.