Pen’s Up As World Acclaimed Poet, JP Clark, Takes A Final Bow
John Pepper Clark-Bekederemo was a Nigerian poet and playwright with several literary works to his credit.
He was born in Kiagbodo and his educational background includes: Native Authority School, Okrika (Ofinibenya-Ama), in Burutu LGA , Government College in Ughelli, and BA degree in English at the University of Ibadan.
After his University education, JP Clark worked as an information officer in the Ministry of Information, in the old Western Region of Nigeria, features editor of the Daily Express, and as research fellow at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan.
Some of his notable works include:
- Poems (Mbari, 1961), a group of 40 lyrics that treat heterogeneous themes
- A Reed in the Tide (Longmans, 1965), occasional poems that focus on the Clark’s indigenous African background and his travel experience in America and other places;
- Casualties: Poems 1966–68 (USA: Africana Publishing Corporation, 1970), which illustrate the horrendous events of the Nigeria-Biafra war;
- A Decade of Tongues (Longmans, Drumbeat series, 1981), a collection of 74 poems, all of which apart from “Epilogue to Casualties” (dedicated to Michael Echeruo) were previously published in earlier volumes;
- State of the Union (1981), which highlights Clark’s apprehension concerning the sociopolitical events in Nigeria as a developing nation;
- Mandela and Other Poems (1988), which deals with the perennial problem of aging and death.
- The Raft (1964), in which four men drift helplessly down the Niger aboard a log raft;
- Ozidi (1966), a transcription of a performance of an epic drama of the Ijaw people;
- The Boat (1981), a prose drama that documents Ngbilebiri history.
- The wives revolt (1991), The Wives’ Revolt tells the story of a Niger Delta community that received a payout from an oil firm drilling in its land. It turns out that the money eventually stokes the flame of revolution in the town. The money is to be shared in three places — elders, men and women.