Nigerian Born Poet, Journalist to Present ‘The Word as Spirit: Its Gifts and Double-Edge’


Photo of Obi Nwakanma, a Nigerian born poet and journalist,

Obi Nwakanma, a Nigerian born poet and journalist, will speak at Southeast March 25.


March 10, 2010 – “The Word as Spirit: Its Gifts and Double-Edge” will be the topic of a reading and presentation March 25 by Obi Nwakanma, a Nigerian born poet and journalist.

The presentation is scheduled for 7-8 p.m. in the University Center Program Lounge and is part of the University’s Multi-Cultural Speakers’ Series. The event is free and open to the public.

Nwakanma’s first collection of poems, The Roped Urn, won the prestigious ANA/Cadbury prize. His second book of poems, The Horseman and Other Poems, was published in 2007 by the Africa World Press in New Jersey. He has finished work on a new collection, Stone Fragments, and also has completed the biography of famous Nigerian modernist poet Christopher Okigbo who died fighting in the Nigerian civil war in 1967. It is soon to be published by the James Current Press, Oxford, UK.

Nwakanma began his career as a journalist reporting on politics, arts and culture in Nigeria. He was group literary editor of the Vanguard and deputy editor of the Sunday Vanguard.  He currently teaches “Creative Writing” and “20th Century Transnational Anglophone Literature” at Truman State University. He also writes a weekly column, the “Orbit” for the Sunday Vanguard in Lagos, Nigeria. He is currently working on a novel, The Book of Salamander.

Nwakanma was born in Ibadan, Nigeria, and educated at the Government College Umuahia. He studied English at the University of Jos, received a master of fine arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a doctoral degree in English at Saint Louis University, where he also was honored with the Walter J. Ong Award for distinguished achievement.

The March 25 event is sponsored by the University’s Funding for Results. For more information, contact Dr. Karen Carcia at (573) 651-2618 or