Christopher Okigbo: Poems Background

Christopher Okigbo: Poems Background

Christopher Okigbo was a Nigerian-born poet of the twentieth century. He was born during 1932 and died during 1967. He possessed a diverse taste in literature and culture, which largely influenced his poetic talent. For example, he drew inspiration from Modernist English poetry, classical literature, mythology, and his Nigerian heritage.

Okigbo made substantial effort to build writing communities in Nigeria and spread literary power to others. For instance, he founded the African Authors Association while working as assistant librarian at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He belonged to the Mbari Writers and Artists Club in Ibadan, which had its own publishing house. Okigbo even worked as a manager for Cambridge University Press of West Africa and founded the Citadel Press.

He published three volumes of poetry before his life was cut short because of the Nigeria-Biafra war during the mid-1900s: Heavensgate (1962), Limits (1964), and Silences (1965). Okigbo was awarded the 1966 Langston Hughes Award for African Poetry at the Festival of Black African Arts in Dakar, which he rejected based on his race-neutral view of poetry.

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