Answer: Kofi Awoonor.
Kofi Awoonor was listed as an inspiration by nineteen different OGOV poets, far ahead of Maya Angelou, Kofi Anyidoho, and Wole Soyinka, who were each mentioned thirteen times.
The top fourteen:
Arists who most influence Ghanaian poets
1. Kofi Awoonor, mentioned by 19 poets, or 20% of all poets interviewed
2. Maya Angelou, 14%
2. Kofi Anyidoho, 14%
2. Wole Soyinka, 14%
5. Kwesi Brew, 12%
5. Atukwei Okai, 12%
5. William Shakespeare, 12%
8. Mutabaruka, 10%
9. Langston Hughes, 9%
10. Ayi Kwei Armah, 8%
10. Dennis Brutus, 8%
10. Leopold Senghor, 8%
10. John Donne, 8%
10. John Keats, 8%
The diversity of this list is noteworthy: many Ghanaian authors, and others from Africa, but also English and American writers. And Mutabaruka, for good measure.
All of these artists, however, were born before 1960. Who will come after them to help inspire the next generation? Some of the other lists may give a few hints to this, but the truth is we'll just have to wait and see...
This post marks the end of our series on Ghanaian poets' influences. Click here for an overview of this project, and to read the lists that came before.
What do you think of these results?
Leave your thoughts in the comments!