Osofisan, Ofeimun and Komunyakaa to speak at LIPFest 2021

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A diverse group of writers will speak at the 2021 Lagos International Poetry Festival, which runs October 21-24. Coming from all generations, writers and thinkers, including Nigerian lawyer and writer Chuma Nwokolo; Africa’s foremost playwright Professor Femi Osofisan will anchor conversations and performances across a range of themes, converging on the role of intergenerational support systems in building stronger post-pandemic societies.

While the American poet Yusef Komunyakaa will deliver a special speech, the legendary Saul Williams will headline a gigantic concert mixing music and poetry. Other guests include Nigerian poet and polemicist Odia Ofeimun, award-winning Ghanaian poet and writer Nana Asaase and Abosede George-Ogan.

The Ancestral Imaginings-themed LIPFest 2021 will be a hybrid event that will combine expertly curated digital offerings with the much-missed in-person events of the festival, which will kick off with an opening cocktail on October 21.

Poetry After Dark, the festival’s annual party, a silent disco event peppered with spontaneous poetry readings that has always drawn fans of the city’s bohemian fun, will also be back with a huge celebratory swing this year.

New to this year’s festival is the LIPFest slam poetry competition. The inaugural competition focuses on the role of young people in dreaming and building a future that responds to today’s anxieties. The shortlisted poets and oral artists will be announced on October 19 and will participate in the final on October 22. The winning poet will walk away with 1 million naira (and gets a performance spot at the festival concert night on October 23 at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos.

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