" ITREALMS: Young Writers pay tribute to Gabriel Okara' - ITREALMS

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Young Writers pay tribute to Gabriel Okara' - ITREALMS

The National President of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW), Mr. Wole Adedoyin has paid tribute to the father of modern Nigerian Poetry and shared the grief not only with the people of the Bayelsa state government but the entire pen community, late Pa Gabriel Okara, reports ITREALMS.

"With Gabriel Okara’s death we have lost one of the truly major voices in Nigerian, African and world Poetry. Okara’s renowned poems offered readers around the world a powerful up close view of historical events and issues in Nigeria," he said.

“We join the writer’s family and all of Nigeria in mourning the loss of this great and important literary figure. This is another loss to the literary community”, Adedoyin said.

Gabriel Imomotimi Okara (24 April 1921 – 25 March 2019) was a Nigerian poet and novelist who was born in Bumoundi in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria. The firstModernist poet of Anglophone Africa, he is best known for his early experimental novel,The Voice (1964), and his award-winning poetry, published in The Fisherman's Invocation(1978) and The Dreamer, His Vision (2005).

He attended the landmark African Writers Conference held on 1 June 1962 at Makerere University College in Kampala, Uganda, along with such writers as Chinua Achebe, Rajat Neogy, Bloke Modisane, Okot p'Bitek, Bernard Fonlon, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Segun Olusola, Grace Ogot, Jonathan Kariara, Rebecca Njau, Wole Soyinka, John Pepper Clark, Saunders Redding, Christopher Okigbo, Francis Ademola, Ezekiel Mphahlele, Arthur Maimane, and others.

In both his poems and his prose, Okara drew on African thought, religion, folklore and imagery, and he has been called "the Nigerian Negritudist".According to Brenda Marie Osbey, editor of his Collected Poems, "It is with publication of Gabriel Okara's first poem that Nigerian literature in English and modern African poetry in this language can be said truly to have begun."

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