Christopher Okigbo at Work: Towards a Pilot Study and Critical Edition of His Previously Unpublished Poems, 1957-1967

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The objectives of the present paper are two-fold. The first is to produce a critical edition of the complete corpus of the previously unpublished papers of Christopher Okigbo (1930-1967), who is today widely acknowledged as by far the most outstanding postcolonial, Anglophone, African, modernist poet of the 20th century. The second is to offer a pilot critical interpretation of the previously unknown poems in the corpus and to ascertain their place in the Okigbo canon. In 2007 these papers became the first corpus of unpublished works to be nominated and accepted into the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. The project is closely-linked to other ongoing or recently completed work on Okigbo’s , among them an annotated critical edition of Okigbo’s complete poetry and an international conference, scheduled for September 20-23, 2007, and co-hosted by four greater Boston area colleges, under the theme, “Postcolonial African literature and the Ideals of the Open Society/Teaching and Learning from the Poetry and Life of Christopher Okigbo


Paper presented at the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute, Colloquium Thompson Hall, Harvard University.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007, 12 noon-2 pm.



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