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ICDH > MEMORY OF THE WORLD > International Register

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International Register

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Christopher Okigbo Collection
Christopher Okigbo Collection - Post view
Region / Country - International Organization > Africa
Year of Registration 2007
Possessing Institutions Christopher Okigbo Foundation (Belgium)
Management Institution Christopher Okigbo Foundation (Belgium)
The status of Christopher Okigbo (1932-67) as the greatest Anglophonic, postcolonial, modernist African poet of the twentieth-century has been established beyond all reasonable doubt not only in two major studies of his works (Sunday Anozie, Creative Rhetoric: Christopher Okigbo, 1972, and Dubem Okafor, Dance of Death: Nigerian History and Christopher Okigbo’s Poetry, 1998) and two major collections of scholarly studies of them (Critical Perspectives on the Poetry of Christopher Okigbo, ed. Donatus Nwoga, 1983 and Critical Essays on Christopher Okigbo, ed. Uzoma Esonwanne, 2000) but in tributes paid to him in a collection of memorial tributes (Don’t Let Him Die: An Anthology of Memorial Poems for Christopher Okigbo) co-edited by Africa’s most outstanding novelist, Chinua Achebe (1978). Scores of other articles in journals, chapters in books, poetic tributes in magazines, published across the world, as well as doctoral and master’s dissertations or theses, continue to pay tribute to his significance and uniqueness in modern African letters.

His major collection of poems, was listed as one of the most influential 100 African literary world of the twentieth-century. Most recently, in a text, Aestheticism and Modernism: Debating Twentieth Century, eds. Richard Danson Brown and Suman Gupta, published by the Open University of the UK and Routeledge (2005), a chapter, devoted to his poetry effectively canonized him as one of the major pillars of twentieth-century modernism. Against this background, four American universities in the Greater Boston Area (Boston University, Harvard University, University of Massachusetts Boston and Wellesley College), has forged a unique collaboration to honor his legacy in an International Conference scheduled for September 20-24, 2007 and focusing on the ideals of the open society as reflected in his poetry.. Recently a major online resource for the study of the poems, Concordance to Okigbo’s Poetry, ( was created by Michael J. C. Echeruo. Other online sources—keyword “Christopher Okigbo”—list over 13,500 references.

Additionally, a major critical biography by Obi Nwakamma is in the offing. Also in the offing are an annotated critical edition of his complete works by Chukwuma Azuonye, and a critical study of the organic unity of the poems, The Quest for Fulfilment: Narrative and Dramatic Continuity in Okigbo’s Poetry, also by Chukwuma Azuonye.