J.P. Clark, legendary Nigerian poet, is dead

Emeritus professor of Literature and renowned writer, Prof John Pepper Clark is dead.

The professor’s death was announced on Tuesday in a statement signed by Prof. C. C. Clark for the family.

The statement read, “The Clark-Fuludu Bekederemo family of Kiagbodo Town, Delta State, wishes to announce that Emeritus Professor of Literature and Renowned Writer, Prof. John Pepper Clark, has finally dropped his pen in the early hours of today, Tuesday, 13 October 2020.

“Prof. J. P. Clark has paddled on to the great beyond in comfort of his wife, children and siblings, around him. “The family appreciates your prayers at this time. Other details will be announced later by the family.”

Clark was born on 6 April, 1935 in Kiagbodo. He attended British-run schools in the towns of Okrika and Jeremi and then entered the colonial Government College in Ughelli, graduating in 1954. He worked for a year as a government clerk, gaining contacts among Nigeria’s elite, and in 1955 he entered the University of Ibadan (still a branch of the University of London at the time). He majored in English and received an honors degree in 1960.

Clark was most noted for his poetry, including:

  • A Reed in the Tide (Longmans, 1965),
  • Casualties: Poems 1966–68
  • Night Rain
  • A Decade of Tongues
  • State of the Union (1981),
  • Mandela and Other Poems (1988)

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