Celebrating the oral tradition of Africa’s singer-poets, internationally acclaimed poet and educator Kofi Anyidoho will read from his works at 7 p.m. March 14 in Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre at California University of Pa.
Anyidoho, of Ghana, is a UNESCO resource poet for cultural and linguistic diversity in education. A sought-after international speaker, he is renowned for powerful live performances that address contemporary culture while honoring the spoken-word tradition of his family’s Ewe ethnic group.
The poet is the first African author and educator to visit California University as part of the College of Liberal Arts’ globalization initiative.
“He is the new voice of Africa,” said Mohamed Yamba PhD, dean of the college.
Anyidoho has published six collections of poetry and a bilingual children’s play in English and the Ewe language. His Ewe-language recordings include “GhanaNya, a dialogue between Anyidoho and the voice of his late mother, who also was an Ewe poet and cantor.
He has received numerous awards for his poetry, including the Langston Hughes Prize and the BBC Arts and Africa Poetry Award. Among his collections are Elegy for the Revolution, Ancestral Logic and Caribbean Blues, PraiseSong for TheLand and The Place We Call Home and Other Poems.
He also is deeply involved in initiatives that promote African culture. Among them is Ghana Television’s African Heritage series, for which he served as executive producer and the on-air host.
Educated in Ghana and the United States, Anyidoho earned a Ph.D. at the University of Texas. Today he is a literature professor at the University of Ghana Legon, in Accra, and the first occupant of its Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies.
At the University of Ghana, Anyidoho also has served as head of the English Department, interim director of the School of Performing Arts, and director of the African Institute on Humanities of the CODESRIA, the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa.