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General News of Friday, 16 October 2020

Source: PM News

Renowned poet, J.P. Clark buried in Delta

Prof J.P. Clark Prof J.P. Clark

The remains of the renowned Nigerian poet and playwright, Prof. John Pepper Clark, popularly known as J.P. Clark have been laid to rest in his country home in Kiagbodo town, Delta State.

The emeritus professor of literature was buried on Thursday night after a brief lying in state for few family members.

Clark was buried within three days of his transition, which was his last wish.

His remains had earlier arrived Kiagbodo at about 8:48 pm on Thursday before it was conveyed in a wooden boat to his house at JP Clark Creek Island in the outskirt of the community.

The casket was carried by community youths after the Delta State Government ambulance service brought the literary icon from the Asaba International Airport.

Clark was born on 6th of December 1933 in Kiagbodo to an Ijaw father and Urhobo mother, Delta State.

Clark received his early education at the Native Authority School, Okrika (Ofinibenya-Ama), in Burutu LGA (then Western Ijaw) and the prestigious Government College in Ughelli, and his BA degree in English at the University of Ibadan, where he edited various magazines, including the Beacon and The Horn.

A widely travelled man, Clark had, since his retirement, held visiting professorial appointments at several institutions of higher learning, including Yale and Wesleyan University in the United States.

Clark was most noted for his poetry, including: Poems (Mbari, 1961), a group of 40 lyrics that treat heterogeneous themes; A Reed in the Tide (Longmans, 1965), occasional poems that focus on the Clark’s indigenous African background and his travel experience in America and other places; Casualties: Poems 1966–68 (USA: Africana Publishing Corporation, 1970), which illustrate the horrendous events of the Nigeria-Biafra war and A Decade of Tongues (Longmans, Drumbeat series, 1981), a collection of 74 poems, all of which apart from “Epilogue to Casualties” (dedicated to Michael Echeruo) were previously published in earlier volumes;

Others are: State of the Union (1981), which highlights Clark’s apprehension concerning the socio-political events in Nigeria as a developing nation and Mandela and Other Poems (1988), which dealt with the perennial problem of aging and death.

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