As the build up to the Lagos International Poetry Festival continues, the organizers are sparing no punches in ensuring an exciting first edition. Speaking at a press conference in Lagos on Wednesday the 14th of October, Efe Paul Azino, convener and director of the festival, unveiled some of the programs lined up for it.
The festival which kicks off on the 28th of Oct with an opening cocktail at Freedom Park on Broad Street, will feature school outreaches, three masterclasses, six panel discussions, four performance events and a special conversation session with Prof. J.P Clark at the J.P Clark Center, University of Lagos.
According to Efe Paul Azino this is a great time for the arts. And poetry in the last few years has been dancing from the fringes to the mainstream. “Our objective is to create a space that spurs, harnesses, and allows for the flourishing of the growing army of talent within the genre who are showing more than a passing commitment to poetry.” He said.
Also speaking at the press conference was Mr. Edem Vindah, Corporate Media and Brand PR manager of Nigerian Breweries, supporters of the festival, who reiterated the brand’s commitment to the growth and development of the arts in Nigeria and the attendant impact on the its creative economy.
This year’s festival features a wide range of poets, cutting across generations, from JP Clark to Lola Shoneyin, Chuma Nkwolo, Jumoke Verissimo and Dami Ajayi. Also expected are 2015 winner of the Brunel University Prize for African Poetry, Nick Makoha, Inua Ellams, two of South Africa’s most prolific voices, Lebo Mashile and Natalia Molebatsi, TJ Dema, Titilope Sonuga and a host of others.
The Lagos International Poetry Festival is slated for the 28th of Oct – Nov 1st and is proudly supported by Nigerian Breweries, Freedom Park and the Muson Center.