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Kofi Anyidoho, Ford Foundation Writer-in-Residence at the Columbia University Center for Comparative Literature and Society, will speak on “The Heritage of African Literatures” 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, in the Kirby Hall of Civil Rights auditorium.

Sponsored by the Africana Studies program and English department, the event is free and open to the public.

A native of Ghana, Anyidoho is a poet and has published extensively on issues related to recent critical debate on African literature. He has taught at the University of Ghana, Legon.

“Poetry is no longer a textual art bound to the written/printed page,” he says. “It is fully liberated from the distancing effect of print technology.”

Anyidoho’s direct involvement with the production of poetry as full drama began when the Ghana National Commission on Children, chaired by dramatist Efua Sutherland, asked him to plan and direct a literary-dramatic program for children from selected schools in Accra as part of a flag-raising ceremony at the O.A.U. Monument in 1984 to mark O.A.U. Day in the Ghanaian capital. From then on, Anyidoho has gone on to produce a performance mode that is returning written African poetry to its dramatic oral roots.

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