From the days of William Langland, Geoffrey Chaucer, St Thomas Becket, Sir Thomas Malory and John Bunyan to those of William Shakespeare and his contemporaries, drama alone (of all the genres of literature) enjoyed societal favours. But in the Nigeria of today,that
trend is in reverse order. Poetry is beginning to establish its roots outside the walls of the classroom through the growing societal favours or acceptance, if you wish. So many people from different quarters have begun to harness the passion of (new and or emerging) writers and lovers of art on different platforms–competitions,shows,etc.
The Lagos International Poetry Festival is one of those platforms.Established in 2015 with a global outlook, the maiden edition was tagged ‘Borderless Words’. It featured about 30 poets.The 2016 edition held between October 26-30 tagged ‘Paging The Future’ also featured poets like the popular
Sage Hassan, Kwame Dawes,Ladan Osman, Neo Muyanga and a host of others from different countries. This year’s edition wasn’t just about performances; it had its own twist.There were readings, school outreaches, workshops and masterclasses where participants learnt and interacted.
While speaking about other plans to commemorate the celebration, Efe Paul Azino, Founder and Director of the poetry festival said ‘This year’s festival coincides with the 50th anniversary of Lagos State and the attending celebrations. As a result, we are compiling, directed by Prof. Wole Soyinka, fifty poems, by fifty poets on Lagos. The poems will be blown into life-sized digital banners and placed around Freedom Park, the venue of the festival and one of the city’s art and cultural nerve centers’.