October 4, 2010

Johns Hopkins, Morgan State to host acclaimed African poets

An evening of poetry readings featuring acclaimed African poets Niyi Osundare and Syl Cheney-Coker is set for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7, in the auditorium of the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Presented by the Department of English and the Center for Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University, in partnership with the Department of English and Language Arts at Morgan State University, the event also offers students from both universities an opportunity to read some of their own poems before the visiting poets take center stage. Several local poets have been invited to read their work as well.

Osundare, who is from Nigeria, and Cheney-Coker, who is from Sierra Leone, are among Africa’s most accomplished poets currently in exile in the United States. They are part of the second generation of modern African writers to emerge after that of Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka.

Poet, dramatist, critic, essayist and media columnist, Osundare is a professor of English at the University of New Orleans, where he specializes in African literature, literature of the African diaspora, literary stylistics, sociolinguistics and creative writing. Cheney-Coker is a poet and novelist who is considered one of the more exciting voices among contemporary African poets.

Earlier in the day on Oct. 7, Osundare and Cheney-Coker will offer two workshops at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood campus for students at Johns Hopkins, Morgan State and other area institutions.

A reception will follow the event at the BMA.

For more information, call 410-516-4313 or e-mail ktiefenwerth@jhu.edu.