It has been announced that the 2019 Niyi Osundare International Poetry Festival will be hosted at the University of Calabar, Cross River State from July 15 to 17, 2019.
The highly respected poet and literary icon, Prof. Niyi Osundare based in New Orleans, has authored a total 18 books of poetry, two books of selected poems, four plays, a book of essays, and many articles on literature, language, culture, and society. He has won prizes for poetry and other forms like the Noma Award, and the Commonwealth Poetry Prize. In 2014, he was the sole recipient of the Nigeria National Order of Merit Award.
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 succeeding years.
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.
Other high points of the festival include music, theatre, dance, and drumming.