DATE OF BIRTH:April 21, 1921
PLACE OF BIRTH:Bumodi, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State,
OCCUPATION:poet and novelist
EDUCATION: He was educated at government college umuahia, and later at yaba higher college. During world war ii, he attempted to enlist in the british royal air force but did not complete pilot training, instead he worked for a time for the british overseas airway corporation (later british airways)
In 1945 okara found work as a printer and bookbinder for colonial nigeria’s government-owned publishing company.
He remained in that post for nine years, during which he began to write. At first he translated poetry from ijaw into english and wrote scripts for government radio. He studied journalism at northwestern university in 1949, and before the outbreak of the nigerian civil war
CAREER AND PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES: Okara Incorporated African Thought, Religion, Folklore, And Imagery Into Both His Verse And Prose. His First Novel, The Voice (1964), Is A Remarkable Linguistic Experiment In Which Okara Translated Directly From The Ijo (Ijaw) Language, Imposing Ijo Syntax Onto English In Order To Give Literal Expression To African Ideas And Imagery.
The Novel Creates A Symbolic Landscape In Which The Forces Of Traditional African Culture And Western Materialism Contend. Its Tragic Hero, Okolo, Is Both An Individual And A Universal Figure, And The Ephemeral “it” That He Is Searching For Could Represent Any Number Of Transcendent Moral Values. Okara’s Skilled Portrayal Of The Inner Tensions Of His Hero Distinguished Him From Many Other Nigerian Novelists.
PUBLICATIONS: The Fisherman’s Invocation (poems)
Little Snake and Little Frog (for children)
An Adventure to Juju Island (for children)
The Dreamer, His Vision (poems)
HONORS AND AWARDS: Best All-Round Entry In Poetry at the Nigerian Festival of Arts, for “The Call of the River Nun”
Commonwealth Poetry Prize, for The Fisherman’s Invocation
NLNG Prize, for The Dreamer, His Vision
Pan African Writers’ Association Honorary Membership Award
Gabriel Okara Literary Festival
WHAT HE/SHE IS FAMOUS:Writing