The Lagos International Poetry Festival (LIPFest) is set for its seventh outing with the theme “Ancestral Imaginings.” The organizers shared on Instagram, that it hoped the festival will lean “into the wisdom and vision, of the old and the young, to guide us through the rubble of a pandemic. A generational journey aided by generational memory.”

The theme speaks to the need to lean into existing storehouses of knowledge to illuminate the present moment. It also revives a classic figure of African literary thought. The figure of the ancestor has inspired some of the most iconic African writing, including Things Fall Apart and Leopold Sedar Senghor’s “In Memoriam.” The festival reactivates the idea for contemporary poetic explorations.

Founded by poet Efe Paul Azino, the annual festival is the largest poetry-centered gathering of performers and creative professionals.

The 2020 festival, themed “Love and Other Clichés” was held virtually for the first time in adherence to social distancing protocols. Co-hosted by Titilope Sonuga and Wana Udobang, last year’s festival featured guests Chris Abani, Dike Chukwumerije and Helon Habila.

The 2021 festival, according to the organizers, will be a hybrid of both virtual and in-person events. LIPFest2021, which is slated for October 21 through 24, will engage a “diverse pool of writers, poets and thinkers drawn from across generations.” The festival will engage conversations and performances on several themes “converging on the role of inter-generational support systems in building stronger, post-pandemic societies organized around egalitarian principles.”

The guest line up and follow up programs will be announced soon.

Stay tuned for updates.