Prof. Damian Opata of the Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), says the death of John Pepper Clark is a great loss to the literary world.
Opata said this in Nsukka on Wednesday, while reacting to the death of Clark on Tuesday, Oct. 13.
He said that Clark was a renowned creative writer and poet, whose literary works had contributed immensely to the development of literature and education.
“I received the news of the demise of the literary giant with shock and sadness.
‘The death of Clark has robbed the world of a creative writer, renowned poet, erudite professor and a literary icon,” he said.
The don said that Clark used his literary works to educate, inspire and persuade the people, while promoting the culture of his people.
“Clark will forever be remembered for his numerous literary works that have contributed immensely to the development of literature as well as impacted positively on humanity.
“The death of the renowned poet and literary giant marks the end of an era,” he said.
Opata urged the family of Clark, relations and entire country to take solace that the literary giant lived an exemplary life, while he used his life to impact positively on mankind through his chosen field of work.
In her tribute, Dr Adaobi Nwoye, President of Coal City Literary Forum, regretted that Clark died unsung.
Nwoye noted that many young writers never knew about him, adding that they should borrow a leaf from him by condemning social ills in their literary works.
“Contemporary writers no longer write like Clark who always passed strong messages in his literary works. That is what he stood for,” she said.
She prayed for the repose of his soul, saying that he would surely be missed.
John Pepper Clark, the renowned Poet and Emeritus Professor of Literature, from Kiagbodo in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, died at the age of 85.