In the last two decades poetry, particularly of the performance variant, has been experiencing a resurgence across the African continent. Urban city centres from Lagos to Nairobi to Joburg are dotted with bars converted to open mic venues, where enthusiasts gather to listen to poets riff on any and everything. The effect of this has been a broadening, somewhat, of the literary space across Africa with attendant value on its creative economy.
It is against this backdrop the Lagos International Poetry Festival situates itself. Set in a city whose pulsating rhythm has been fodder for countless poems, the Lagos International Poetry Festival, scheduled for the 28th of October – November 1st 2015, will be the first international poetry festival in West Africa, a region with rich contributions to the global literary landscape.
The theme of the Lagos International Poetry Festival 2015 is Borderless Words with emphasis on poetry’s capacity to bridge racial, ethnic, gender, language and cultural divides, and the imperative of creative collaborations on the continent. The five day festival will feature workshops/masterclasses, school outreaches, panel discussions, readings and performances in open spaces and enclosed venues across the city.
This year’s festival features: JP Clark, Warsan Shire, Safia Elhillo, Inua Ellams, Odia Ofeimun, TJ Dema, Lebo Mashile, Bassey Ikpi, Chijioke Amu Nnadi, Lola Shoneyin, Dami Ajayi, Jumoke Verissimo, Dike Chukuwumerijie, Chuma Nwokolo, Toni Kan, Audu Maikori, Wana Udobang, Titilope Sonuga, AJ Dagga Tolar, Iquo Ekeh, Akeem Lasisi, Donna, Sage Hasson, Elizabeth Ayoola, Ndukwe Onuoha, Obii Ifejika, Qudus Onikeku, Adesola Fakile.
For more information, see the festival programme