Remains of a Tide by JP Clark

Nigerian poetry legend JP Clark launches new poetry collection.

Nigerian legend JP Clark launched his newest poetry collection Remains of a Tide at a jam packed event at the University of Lagos, Nigeria on Tuesday, January 30, 2018.

JP Clark is acknowledged as one of the most important literary figures to live in the 20th Century for his work in poetry and stage. Some of his more well-known poetry collections are A Reed in the Tide (Longmans, 1965), Casualties: Poems 1966-68 (USA: Africana Publishing Corporation, 1970), A Decade of Tongues (Longmans, Drumbeat series, 1981), State of the Union (1981) and Mandela and Other Poems (1988).

His stage work started with Song of a Goat (1961) followed by a sequel, The Masquerade (1964). His other stage work includes The Raft (1964), in which four men drift helplessly down the Niger aboard a log raft, Ozidi (1966), an epic drama rooted in Ijaw saga, and The Boat (1981), a prose drama that documents Ngbilebiri history.

Apart from his poetry and stage work, Clark served for several years as a professor of English at the University of Lagos, a position from which he retired in 1980. While at the University of Lagos he was co-editor of the literary magazine Black Orpheus. As the first African professor at the university he has had the singular honour of The JP Clark Centre being dedicated to him.

The retired poet and professor proved that retirement doesn’t mean that one has stopped producing work as he unleashed his latest work of poetry Remains of a Tide at the centre named after him last Tuesday. The new collection is a catalogue of poems in honour of friends and relatives alive and passed on and is dedicated to his wife of 52 years Ebun Clark.

Olorogun Oscar Ibru, Prof Wole Soyinka, his wife Prof Folake Soyinka and JP Clark.
Olorogun Oscar Ibru, Prof Wole Soyinka, his wife Prof Folake Soyinka and JP Clark.

Present at the book presentation were Prof Wole Soyinka who was accompanied by his wife Prof Folake Soyinka, the Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin Temitayo Ogundipe, who was represented by Prof Eghagha as the chairman of the occasion, and renowned dramatist and scholar, Prof Femi Osofisan.

Read more about the launch from our friend Samuel Osaze  in Lagos here. The image of the collection above was kindly supplied by him.



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