Kofi Awoonor, an internationally acclaimed poet who taught writing at Stony Brook University in the 1970s, was killed in an attack by Somali Islamic militants in Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday, according to a report published in Newsday.
Awoonor, 78, was visiting the Kenyan capital for an arts and literature conference and had been shopping at Westgate Mall with his son when the attack occurred. Newsday cited various news reports, saying militants "started throwing grenades and shooting shoppers."
The organizers of the conference, the Storymoja Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts, released a statement mourning Awoonor's death: "Professor Awoonor was one of Africa's greatest voices and poets and will forever remain a beacon of knowledge and strength and hope."
According to Newsday, Awoonor returned to his native Ghana in 1975 and served 10 months in jail after the government accused him of harboring a childhood friend who was a political fugitive. During the 1990s, he was Ghana's representative to the United Nations
Click here to read the full story from Newsday (subscription required).