Ogedengbe Tolulope Impact is the winner of Wakaso Monthly Poetry Prize organised by the Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation for November, 2019. The prize which carries N20, 000 cash is sponsored by Aisha Wakaso. Tolulope is a Nigerian poet. His poem “Tell them” was a shortlisted poem at the 7th Korea-Nigeria poetry feast, 2017. His works have been published in Duane Poetree, Pangolin review, Words Rhymes & Rhythms, Literary planet, Wax poetry and art magazine, Parousia Magazine, Sub-Saharan magazine and elsewhere.Phateema Salihu of TNR had an online interview with the maiden winner of Wakaso prize about is idea on poetry.
TNR: Poetry, what is it to you never felt and defined by any writer?
TOLULOPE: Poetry is not just an art, it is life.
TNR: What is poetry doing between you, its maker, and the environment in which you live and make it?
TOLULOPE: As I defined earlier, poetry is life and it has huge effect on people andthe environment. Even creation was spoken into existence through the power of the spoken word.
TNR: Poets often talk about the spiritual essence of poetry, what is that?
TOLULOPE: Yes, poetry is spiritual and it predates human existence. Poetry started from God. God, being the creator, spoke the universe into being and God has transferred this creative ability into man to do the same.
TNR: What is that personal feeling, observation or even conclusion that keeps coming to you as a writer of poetry, on the element that will set you apart from the poetry written by others, in the years to come?
TOLULOPE: To find my own voice, to carve a niche and to inspire young upcoming writers.
TNR: Sorry, why are you writing poetry?
TOLULOPE: I write to heal, save, inspire, and impart
TNR: Tell us five profoundest lines of yours, ever. The ones you thought were the living words, to have come out of you in poetry, prose, essay or any form of your art?
TOLULOPE: “Dreams are seedlings of realities”
“My dream so lofty, with it, I can touch the sky”
“Every day, I look up at the sky, I tell myself I’ll fly
” I sprang from a breast that had tasted the misery of age”
“I freed my mind from burdened thoughts”
TNR: Which poet or literary piece has had the most influential mark on your writing?
TOLULOPE: Aremu Adams Adebisi, because of his depth, soundness and lyrical style of poetry
TNR: Do you consider poetry as the greatest of the literary art?
TOLULOPE: No every genre of literature has its own uniqueness.
TNR: What do you consider as the most astounding ingredient in any poem?
TNR: What other forms of poetry have you tried writing?
TOLULOPE: I have written so many triolet, pantoum, quatern, septallene, acrostic, rictameter etc.