OGOV's most influential poets

In lieu of a new poem this week, we wanted to share with you some of the results of the "polling" of Ghanaian writers we've been doing over our first fifty-six issues. Every time a new poet has been profiled, we've asked them who their favourite poets and/or literary influences are. The results have been incredibly varied, which speaks well of the eclectic tastes of Ghanaian writers. Still, certain poets and authors have been named frequently.

We thought it would be interesting to take some time, therefore, to look at some of the poets whose names have come up most often in our discussions. Here are the most mentioned poets. Any surprises for people?

Top 6 Ghanaians:

1. Kofi Awoonor
2. Kofi Anyidoho
3. Kwesi Brew
4. Ayi Kwei Armah
5. Kobena Eyi Acquah
6. Atukwei Okai

Top 6 Non-Ghanaian Africans:

1. Wole Soyinka (Nigeria)
2. Leopold Senghor (Senegal)
3. Dennis Brutus (South Africa)
4. David Diop (Senegal)
5. Oswald Mtshali (South Africa)
6. John Pepper Clark (Nigeria)

Top 7 International:

1. William Shakespeare (England)
2. William Wordsworth (England)
3. Mutabaruka (Jamaica)
4. Robert Frost (United States)
5. Langston Hughes (United States)
6. Maya Angelou (United States)
7. Bob Marley (Jamaica)


1. Kofi Awoonor
2. William Shakespeare
3. Wole Soyinka
4. Kofi Anyidoho
5. Leopold Senghor

Speaking of poet #3, Wole Soyinka, last fall he lead a panel discussion with fellow African writers (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Chris Abani, Chenjerai Hove, and Alexandra Fuller) at the Black Mountain Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada. The discussion, on the topic of African writing and politics, was entitled "From Apartheid to Darfur: Africa's Struggle Against Disdain", which we thought our readers might find interesting. You can watch that here.

Also, please be sure to visit our "News and Notices" and "Submission Guidelines" pages, as both have been updated. And check out our new "Writers' Service" page.

See you next week!
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