Lagos International Poetry Festival 2020

The Lagos International Poetry Festival 2020, with the theme “Love & Light and Other Clichés,” runs from October 1 – November 1, 2020.

The Lagos International Poetry Festival, founded in 2015 by Efe Paul Azino, has brought poets, writers, artists, and thinkers from across the world to Lagos for a week of conversations, readings, performances, workshops and adventure, establishing itself as one of the continent’s annual art and culture highlights.

Some of the guests who have featured since it begun have been Chris Abani, Koleka Putuma, Ladan Osman, Inua Ellams, Titilope Sonuga, Sonny Kwaku, Chika Jones, Dami Ajayi, Uzo Maxim Uzoatu, Peter Akinlabi, Niran Okewole, Tade Ipadeola, Toni Kan, Wana Udobang, Bash Amueni, Ogaga Ifowodo, Neo Muyanga, Kola Tubosun, Pryse, Sage Hasson, Gbenga Adesina, Qudus Onikeku, Ali Baba, and Ola Opesan.

The festival in 2020, “takes place against the backdrop of a global pandemic with the theme Love & Light and Other Clichés, a mediation on the ‘tender gravity of kindness.’ In a year that reminds us of the fragility and interconnectedness of the human experience, this year’s festival reconsiders the tools available to us in confronting the daily violence of existence, the limits of bottom-line thinking, and the indispensability of art and poetry in helping us reengage with a world we take for granted,” a statement on the festival’s website states.

Following the trend of ensuring people don’t die during a global pandemic, the festival will this year be hosted virtually. It will feature 25 poets, artists, and performers from across the world and will host over 20 events including performances, conversations, virtual open mics, workshops, and events for children. Over the month, you get to interact with among others Derek Owusu, J.J. Bola, Wana Udobang, Chris Abani, Aracelis Girmay, Titilope Sonuga, Nadra Mabrouk, Bassey Ikpi, Rabha Ashry, Omar Bin Musa, Funmilola Fagbamila, Cheswayo Mphanza, Helon Habila, Aja Monet, Tsitsi Jaji, Terrance Hayes, among others.

For those who wish to follow proceedings from the Lagos-based festival, you can follow their official website, or their Facebook or Twitter.