Professor Niyi Osundare is currently a distinguished Professor of English at the University of Orleans, Lakefront, New Orleans USA. As a world acclaimed poet, this Nigerian literary brand has won virtually all the prizes and awards of global recognition in poetry for which the world holds him in high esteem.


Last December, 2014, he was the sole winner of the Nigeria National Order of Merit Award, which is the officially recognized award for excellence in the academic. An award which is publicity appreciated for its non-partisan consideration. Born to humble parents in the then agrarian but highly cultured Ikere-Ekiti in present day Ekiti State of Nigeria on March 12th, 1947, he started his education in the same community in 1953 before venturing out to nearby Ado-Ekiti where he completed his Higher School Certificate education. The star of this latter day academic giant started to shine right from his secondary school when he was appointed the Library Prefect of Amoye Grammar School, Ikere-Ekiti.


During his 2-year Higher School Education at Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti, he edited the school magazine (Agidimo) and worked with an expatriate teacher, Christopher Ward, on a publication of the history of the school: “Not In Name Only”. He has since experienced meteoric rise as he went through his studies at the University of Ibadan with remarkable performance and later joined the institution as a teacher after post-graduate studies in Canada and the USA.


The illustrious son of Ikere-Ekiti, who proudly wears his nationality as a medal, while flaunting his patriotism as a Nigerian without apology. He is however more importantly appreciated as a poet of global status whose recognition has taken him all over the world, reading from his many publications which continue to build for him loyalty among students in and out of schools around the world, and respect and admiration among poets everywhere.


Birth: 1947 (Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria)

Qualifications: B.A. (Ibadan), M.A. (Leeds); PhD (York University, Canada)

Work

1989 – 1997 – Professor of English, University of Ibadan

1993 – 1997 – Head, department of English, University of Ibadan

1997 – date – Professor of English, University of New Orleans, USA.

2014 – Winner, Nigerian National Merit Award (NNMA) for Academic Excellence

Has won both the Association of Nigerian Authors’ and the Commonwealth Prize for Poetry among numerous other awards and recognitions.

Publications

Songs from the Marketplace (1983)

Village Voices (1984)

The Eye of the Earth (1986, winner of a Commonwealth Poetry Prize and the poetry prize of the Association of Nigerian Authors)

Moonsongs (1988)

Songs of the Season (1999)

Waiting Laughters (1990, winner of the Noma Award)

Selected Poems (1992)

Midlife (1993)

Thread in the Loom: Essays on African Literature and Culture (2002)

The Word is an Egg (2002)

The State Visit (2002, play)

Pages from the Book of the Sun: New and Selected Poems (2002)

Early Birds (2004)

Two Plays (2005)

The Emerging Perspectives on Niyi Osundare (2003)

Not My Business (2005)

Tender Moments:Love Poems (2006)


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Niyi Osundare - The Poet Niyi Osundare International Poetry Festival