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Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka to Kick-Off 2007 Spring Arts Festival at Bowie State University

April 3, 2007 by  
Filed under Arts/Literature

Bowie, MD ( – Dr. Wole Soyinka, winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, will open the 2007 Spring Arts Festival on Wednesday, April 4, 2007. Sponsored by the Departments of English and Modern Languages, Communications, Fine and Performing Arts, History and Government, and the University Honors Program, the event will take place in the Martin Luther King Jr. Communications Arts Building – Myers Auditorium at 2:00 p.m.

Professor Soyinka’s visit provides the rare opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and surrounding communities to interact with the Nobel Laureate and learn about the Nigerian crisis. Through his lecture, Professor Soyinka will highlight the roots of conflict in Africa, its complexities and the future of the continent.

The Nigerian-born playwright is also an active essayist, poet, novelist and theatre director. He writes mainly in English, but his works are distinguished by their exploration of “the African world view and are steeped in Yoruba mythology, imagery and dramatic idioms.”

From 1967 to 1969 during the Nigerian Civil War, he was imprisoned, mostly in solitary confinement; from this experience emerged “The Man Died.” “Ake,” his childhood biography, is an acclaimed classic. “You Must Set Forth at Dawn,” his adult memoirs, is a heroic saga as well as a compendium of Nigerian history. “Death and the King’s Horseman,” a literary masterpiece, explores the cosmic realms of Yoruba tragedy. Other plays include “The Bacchae of Euripides,” adapted from Euripides’ classic “The Bacchae;” “Opera Wonyosi, adapted from Brecht’s “Threepenny Opera;” and “King Baabu,” adapted from Alfred Jarry’s “Ubu Roi.”

For more information, contact conference coordinators Dr. Anne L. Gaskins-Nedd at (301) 860-4056 or; Professor Nabie Y. Swaray at (301) 860-3721, or Dr. Gerri Bates at (301) 860-3679.

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