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Soyinka, Other Scholars to Headline JP Clark’s First Memorial Literal Feast At UNILAG

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The Department of English, University of Lagos and the JP Clark family will hold the first JP Clark memorial from Monday, October 11-13, 2021.

This 3-day event tagged ‘The First JP Clark Memorial’ in honour of the late poet and dramatist. The memorial will host Clark’s friend and literary soulmate Prof. Wole Soyinka who will headline the event that will feature an assemblage of scholars and writers from within and the diaspora to discuss the quintessential Clark and his work.

Day 1 will feature Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka, Prof. Godini G. Darah will speak on ‘JP Clark: Voyager of our Folkways’, Prof. Tanure Ojaide, Prof. Mabel Evwierhoma, Prof. Saint Gbilekaa, Dr. NdukaOtiono. Ojaide will speak on ‘What We Don’t Know Yet About JP Clark’s Writing’, Evwierhoma will discuss Clark ‘Towards an Agenda for Democracy, Gbilekka will speak on ‘An Ecocritical Discourse of JP Clark’s All for Oil & Women’s Revolt’, and Otionowill discuss ‘JP Clark and Poetic Expeditions in Mortality’ while Profs. Femi Osofisa and Hope Eghagha will moderate the memorial proceedings.

Day 2 is anchored by the Association of Nigerian Authors’ and tagged ‘Celebrating the Life and Times of JP Clark’ and also dedicated to ‘Cancer Outreach Programme’ and will feature presentation by Dr. Olatunbosun on ‘Colon Cancer the Silent Killer: Statistics and Prevalence in Nigeria’ and Dr. Kene Chudy-Onwugaje will speak on ‘Hidden Cancers and their Prevention: How to Direct and Prevent Colon Cancer.

On the last day of the memorial, Wednesday, October 13, 2021, at 3:00 pm, there will be a performance of the dramatist’s feminist-driven play, The Wives’ Revolt. Interestingly, all the activities will feature in a hybrid format of virtual and physical for the delight of lovers of the late JP Clark’s poetic and dramatic offerings.

Professor John Pepper Clark, was born on the 6th of December 1933 in the Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria. After his early education at the Native Administration Schools, Okrika and Jeremi(Otughievwen), in the Western Niger Delta, he went on to study at the Government College, Ughelli and the University College, Ibadan. It was during his study of English at University of Ibadan, that he began to catch the attention of the general public. He became the editor of the Students’ Union magazine the Beacon, and the first editor of the Horn, the poetry journal at the University College, Ibadan, which launched modern Nigerian poetry in English. It introduced Christopher Okigbo and Wole Soyinka.

J.P. Clark was the pre-eminent poet of a unique period of the 20th century in Africa. This was a time when a few nascent, post-colonial, English speaking African writers, side by side with their French and Portuguese African counterparts, created African literature, a global literary genre that is studied in several universities around the world.

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