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Lasisi, Osagie, Owi, Mahogany, Booker to slam at World Poetry Day 2024

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  • March 20, 2024
  • 8 min read
Lasisi, Osagie, Owi, Mahogany, Booker to slam at World Poetry Day 2024

By Editor

A combination of local and international poets will perform at this year’s World Poetry Day 2024 scheduled for Thursday, March 21, 2024 at the Banquet Hall of Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. Time is 4:00pm. The event is sponsored by poetry-loving Providus Bank Plc in its ‘ProvidusBank World Poetry Day Café: An Evening with Wole Soyinka’ flagship poetry event. Providus Bank has consistently hosted the global poetry fiesta with Soyinka as headliner; this will be its fifth year, and it kick-starts the Wole Soyinka @90 birthday celebration that comes up on July 17. A profile of the poets in the line up provides a mouth-watering performance event that should be unmissable for every lover of quality poetry performance.

Uche Uwadinachi: A broadcaster, performance poet and the author of poetry collections, Scar in the Heart of Pain, Uwadinachi is the first prize winner of ANA Poetry- LAPOFEST 2006, second winner, Ken Saro-Wiwa Poetry Prize, USA 2010, second runner-up, National Poetry Slam, Abuja 2012 first prize winner (March) of Poetry African Street Writer 2013, and Spoken Word Poet of the Year (Nigerian Writers Award) 2016 . Also, he’s the winner of the Humanitarian Reporter of the Year 2018 (For Peace and Conflict Resolution), Uwadinachi performed at the maiden Providus Bank World Poetry Day event in 2019. He is currently a broadcast producer with Metro 97. 7 FM. FB: Uche Uwadinachi | IG: Uche Uwadinachi X: Uche Uwadinachi

Salamatu Sule: Poet, social commentator and book reviewer, Sule has been published in several anthologies and was given a mention in a Monograph titled Invoking Flora Nwapa: Nigerian Women Writers, Feminity and Spirituality in World Literature by Paula Uimonen. A fellow of the Ebedi International Writers Residency and Soyinka Foundation Study in Lebanon (SAIL), Sule is the founder of Fahimta Literary Discourse (FLD) and has two published works: Oma: The Drummer Queen (children’s book, 2017) and Orchestra of Her Last Rites (poetry). She has held Diplomatic Book Discourse at the German, French, and Hungarian embassies, ands moderated several educational programmes with the Secondary Education Board on Read Campaign under the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). Sule recently moderated a National Dialogue on Education focusing on Investment in Nigeria’s Education. FB: Salamatu Sule | X: @Mssalamatu | IG: iamsalamatusule

Evelyn Osagie: With over two decades of performing poetry/spoken word on stage, Osagie mixes performance with elements of folklore, myths, songs and sometimes employs masks, drum rhythms, music and dance to express her poetic thoughts. Known on stage as ‘Evelyn D’Poet, she has performed her poems and those of others at diverse artistic events and festival in Abuja, Lagos, Edo, Oyo, Ogun states such as Lagos Book & Arts Festival (LABAF), Lagos Black Heritage Festival, WORDSLAM, etc. Osagie has also featured at events by the United States Consulate, Lagos, German Embassy in Lagos, National Theatre, Johnson Jakande Tinubu (JJT) Park, Bogobiri Art Hotel, MUSON Centre, etc. Aside being a poet/performer and artist, she is a journalist currently with The Nation newspaper and the host of Chat with Evelyn TV Show.

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Akeem Lasisi: Renowned for his ability to spontaneously deliver poems on various subjects, Lasisi’s craft-mark is the ease with which he switches from Yoruba to English forms and vice-versa. Two of his collections of poems, Iremoje: Ritual Poetry for Ken Saro-Wiwa and Night of my Flight won the Association of Nigerian Authors/CADBURY Poetry Prize. He is also the author of Right Option English (a textbook) and Goodness and Messi (a collection of jokes). Also the publisher of Phenomenal.com.ng, Tutor for Phenomenal English and a columnist with The Punch newspaper, Lasisi has produced six musical poetry albums: Post Mortem, Ori Agbe, Wonderland (Eleleture), Udeme (Constituency Project), Comforti and poetic tributes to prominent people and institutions, a project that recently gave birth to his annual ‘African Citations’ exhibition. He co-authored Phenomenal Lagos, a textual, photographic and poetic celebration of 50 monuments in Lagos State, the audios and videos of which are currently being produced. IG: akeemlasisi01 | FB: Akeem Lasisi

Ocho Oko Owi: Founder and team lead of Afrika-Writes, former Creative Director for Benue Poetry Troupe, and Programmes Manager, SEVHAGE, Owi is an award-winning poet, performance artist, and scholar. He was longlisted for the Nigerian Student Poetry Prize (2017), earned an NSPP Award of Excellence (2018) for his poem ‘Zeyani’ and was the second prize winner of the Korea Nigeria Poetry Prize (2018). His published poetry collections are We Will Sing Water, and Now I Sing God into Stones. He is the current Creative Director for Abuja Poetry, and his forthcoming critical book is Culture, Coloniality, and the African Being. FB: Oko Owi Ocho Afrika | X: @OkoOwoicho1 | IG: @okoowiochoafrika

Ruth Mahogany: An artiste recognised for her profound spoken word poetry and captivating music performances with a focus on conscious storytelling, Mahogany works with organisations and individuals to articulate complex themes through media campaigns and art exhibitions. Among the notable organisations she has worked with are the United Nations Population Fund, focusing on Girl Child Education and Amnesty International where she addressed Human Rights and Free Speech. Among awards she has won is the Ned Nwoko Antarctica ‘War Against Malaria’ Campaign Prize in 2021. She was one of the winners of the Vis-a-Vis 12th Edition by Casa Africa in 2023, earning her the opportunity to tour and showcase her music and poetry in Spain along with ARB Music Band. She authored the 28 poems of Abuja Buildings book by Susa Garrido and has an expanding discography on streaming platforms. IG: @ruthmahogany | X: @ruthmahogany

Nathalie Handal: Described as a “contemporary Orpheus,” Handal is one of the three international guests artists for the event. She is the author of 10 award-winning books, translated into 15 languages, including Life in a Country Album, winner of the Palestine Book Award, and The Republics, lauded as “one of the most inventive books by one of today’s most diverse writers,” winner of the Virginia Faulkner Award for Excellence in Writing and the Arab American Book Award. Her work has appeared in Vanity Fair, Guernica, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Nation, and The Irish Times. She is the recipient of awards from the PEN Foundation, Lannan Foundation, Fondazione di Venezia, Centro Andaluz de las Letras, Africa Institute, and featured at the United Nations for Outstanding Contributors in literature. She is a professor at New York University-AD, and writes the literary travel column, ‘The City and the Writer’ for Words without Borders magazine. IG: @nathaliephandal. | X: nathaliephandal

Malika Booker: A Britishpoet of Guyanese and Grenadian parentage, and co-founder of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen (A writer’s collective), Booker recently published the anthology – Two Young, Two Black, Too Different, Poems from Malika’s Poetry Kitchen to celebrate Malika Poetry Kitchen’s 20-year anniversary. Her pamphlet Breadfruit, (flippedeye, 2007) received a Poetry Society recommendation and her poetry collection Pepper Seed (Peepal Tree Press, 2013) was shortlisted for the OCM Bocas prize and the Seamus Heaney Centre 2014 prize for first full collection. She is published with the Poets Sharon Olds and Warsan Shire in The Penguin Modern Poet Series 3: Your Family: Your Body (2017). Booker and Shara McCallum recently co-edited the issue of Stand Journal curating an anthology of poems by African American, Black British & Caribbean Women & Identifying Writers. A Cave Canem Fellow, and inaugural Poet in Residence at The Royal Shakespeare Company, Booker was awarded the Cholmondeley Award (2019) for outstanding contribution to poetry and elected a Royal Society of Literature Fellow (2022). She is the first woman to win the Forward Prize for Best Single poem twice: ‘The Little Miracles’ (2020) and ‘Libation’ (2023). She is a lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University. X: @malikabooker | malikabooker.com

Ngwatilo Mawiyoo: Poet, filmmaker and performer, Mawiyoo is the author of two chapbooks, Blue Mothertongue and Dagoretti Corner and the EP album Introducing Ngwatilo. She is an interdisciplinary story-maker working to forge paths to joy and freedom, primarily through poetry, film and performance, Her poems appear in local and international magazines such as Down River Road, Transition, Johannesburg Review of Books, Obsidian, Wasafiri, The Malahat and elsewhere. Twice nominated for the Brunel University African Poetry Prize and the Pushcart Prize, Mawiyoo is a recipient of multiple international residencies and grants for her scholarship, and a regular guest at international literary festivals and conferences. Mawiyoo made her debut as a writer/director in 2021 with her short film, Joy’s Garden. The film was selected to screen at over a dozen film festivals around the world and received five nominations at Kenya’s National Film Awards. Her forthcoming short is a trilingual magical realism drama. Mawiyoo holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She lives in Nairobi. IG: @ngwatilo |X: @ngwatilo

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