‘Upcoming writers should not rush their works’
-January 25, 2018
Khalil Gibran Society is a society first started in Lebanon to honour late Lebanese writer and artist, Kahlil Gibran, and to promote literature through his works. The society has recently been brought into the fold of literary societies in Nigeria. In this interview, the society’s Co-founder/Project Manager, Wole Adedoyin, tells us the aims and aspirations of Khalil Gibran Society.
Daily Focus: Give us a brief insight on Khalil Gibran Society
Wole Adedoyin: Khalil Gibran Society (KGS) is a literary organization established to promote Gibran’s Works and literary ideology. Khalil Gibran Society (KGS) is affiliated with Gibran National Committee, Cedars Institute and Pen Lebanon. Our objectives are: to promote the literary legacy and ideology of Khalid Gibran, to organize an annual festival in his honor, to promote his creative works, to recognize, reward and award outstanding individuals who have made impact in the Society among other objectives. Khalil Gibran Society is a think tank and artistic talent discovery avenue mainly established for writers and artists. Khalil Gibran was a great writer and an eminent artist of great personality. Gibran’s reputation in the English-speaking world, on the other hand, has been mixed. His works have been hugely popular, making him the best-selling American poet of the twentieth century, but that enthusiasm has not been shared by critics. His paintings and drawings of sinuous idealized nudes belong to symbolism and art nouveau and are, thus, a survival of a tradition rejected both by American realists and European abstractionists. His English books—most notably, The Prophet (1923), with its earnest didactic romanticism—found no favor with critics whose models were the cool intellectualism of James Joyce and T. S. Eliot or the gritty realism of Ernest Hemingway. As a result, Gibran has been dismissed as a popular sentimentalist by American critics and historians of art and of literature. There are signs that this situation is changing, at least on the literary side, as critics become more sensitive to the characteristics of immigrant writing.
Daily Focus: What is the main purpose for bringing the society into Nigeria?
Wole Adedoyn: I remember there was a platform like this between 2012-2016 known as The Alliance of Independent Writers and Artists of Nigeria (TAIWAN), which was founded by myself and three other persons. We brought Khalil Gibran Society to Nigeria so that upcoming and intending artists and writers can master his style of writing and improve on their writing. Same thing on his art works. A forum for artists and writers. I’ve called together my former team members and we are ready to swing into action. Khalil Gibran is a good role model for upcoming and intending writers to emulate. We have the support of Gibran National Committee, the supreme body for all Gibran initiatives. And the support of Cedars Institute and PEN Lebanon. Khalil Gibran Society is a similar template to TAIWAN.
Daily Focus: Do you plan to hold literary events?
Wole Adedoyin: Yes. We shall be holding bimonthly readings, arts exhibition, artists and writers workshops. We have also designed some annual events mainly aimed at enhancing, honing and promoting works of both upcoming writers and artists. We’ve been talking to other stakeholders too for collaboration and execution of educative and informative projects.
Daily Focus: Is membership of the Society open to all, or to only published writers?
Wole Adedoyin: Yes. Khalil Gibran Society is not meant for only writers alone, artists are also inclusive. Unpublished writers, amateur artists, established writers and professional artists are all welcome. We also provide membership for primary and secondary school students. Our category of membership includes: Bronze Membership (Ages between 9-17), Silver Membership (Ages between 18-35), Gold Membership (Ages between 36 and Above), Honorary Membership and Corporate Membership. The most important thing to note is that any intending member of KGS must be a writer (published or unpublished), lover of books, amateur or professional artists and art lovers.
Daily Focus: What other activities do you conduct?
Wole Adedoyin: In our membership brochure, we have what we tagged “Our 10 Points Agenda”. We use this to plan and execute our activities. Our 10 points agenda includes: Khalil Gibran International Day, Khalil Gibran Correspondence Course, Khalil Gibran Library and Writers Resource Centre, Khalil Gibran Database of Nigerian and Lebanese Writers, Khalil Gibran Wall Chart and Postals of World Famous Authors, Khalil Gibran Prize for Literature, The Prophet – Quarterly Journal of the Society, Khalil Gibran Annual Inter-secondary schools Essay Competition, Khalil Gibran Translation Project, Khalil Gibran Annual Arts Exhibition. It is also part of our agenda to collaborate with similar stakeholders and organizations.
Daily Focus: How will the society benefit Nigerians?
Wole Adedoyin: The concept of this organization has been in existence before and hundreds of people had benefited from it. We hope to build and develop on this.
Daily Focus: Advice for writers
Wole Adedoyin: My advice for writers especially the upcoming writers is to take things easy and not to rush into publishing and making names. They should respect their elders and consult them for assistance.