CFP: Odia Ofeimun (6/30/03; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
James Gifford
contact email: 

Odia Ofeimun: A Life of Literature and Political Activism

Odia Ofeimun is undoubtedly one of Nigeria’s foremost poets and political
activists after the Soyinka generation. He has been described as the avant
garde of contemporary Nigerian literature. The Poet Lied, his first major
collection of poems created political and cultural furor when it was
released in the 1970s, exacerbating anew the old question of the place of
the poet/writer in purely political space of debate. Ofeimun’s literary
career is somewhat inseparable from his political activism. Truly the avant
garde literary activist, Ofeimun was at one time the personal secretary of
the legendary Nigerian politician, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He was also a
member of the radical collective of The News, a weekly newspaper, which
contributed to the downfall of Nigeria’s last dictatorship. As the
Secretary-General of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), he made
literature happen when he caused to be published a number of (young)
Nigerian poets. Voices from the Fringe, a collection of poems edited by the
Nigerian poet and scholar, Harry Garuba was also published during his
tenureship as Secretary of the Union.

We are calling for papers dealing with the critical evaluation of the role
of Odia Ofeimun in Nigeria’s literary and political history in the last 30
years. Papers should not be more than 25 A4 pages long and should deal with
any aspect of Ofeimun literary and para-literary activities, his role as a
political activist and his contributions to political journalism, the kind
that became a distinct Nigerian genre in the 1980s and 1990s. Direct
inquiries to the editor. Deadline is for June 30, 2003. Complete papers may
be sent by email and hard copies to the editor:

Onookome Okome
Department of English
University of Alberta,
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E1
Tel: 780-492 7819/780 989 5689

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Received on Mon Mar 10 2003 - 01:45:39 EST