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Atukwei Okai (John Atukwei Okai) Biography

(1941– ), (John Atukwei Okai), Flowerfall, Oath of the Fonton-from and Other Poems, Logorligi Logarithms

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Joseph O'Connor Biography to Cynthia Ozick Biography

African poet, born in Accra, Ghana, educated there and at the Gorki Institute in Moscow, and the University of London where he studied Russian literature. He is very much a performance poet, and his poems are rooted in the oral tradition, virtually inseparable from traditional African music and dance. The poems are also politically radical and socially conscious, one of his great concerns being Pan-Africanism. Among his collections of verse are Flowerfall (1969), Oath of the Fonton-from and Other Poems (1971), and Logorligi Logarithms (1974). The last title juxtaposes the Ga and English words for the same mathematical concept, thus indicating Okai's parallel traditional and modern consciousness as a poet.

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