Born in Ghana in 1962, Kwame Dawes spent most of his childhood in Jamaica. As a poet, he is profoundly influenced by the rhythms and textures of that lush place, citing in a recent interview his “spiritual, intellectual, and emotional engagement with reggae music.” His book Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius remains the most authoritative study of the lyrics of Bob Marley. His 11th collection of verse, Wisteria: Poems From the Swamp Country, was published in January 2006. In February, 2007 Akashic Books published his novel, She’s Gone and Peepal Tree Books published his 12th collection of poetry, Impossible Flying, and his non-fiction work, A Far Cry From Plymouth Rock: A Personal Narrative. He is the Distinguished Poet-in-Residence at the University of South Carolina and the programming director of the Calabash International Literary Festival, which takes place in Jamaica each year.
Articles By KWAME DAWES
- Nikky Finney: “The Afterbirth, 1931”
“somethin’ wasn’t right:” How Finney captures an American nightmare.
Audio & PodcastsPoetry Lectures
Kwame Dawes reads poems from four of his books at the Art Institute of Chicago in January 2008.
Kwame Dawes: International Poets in Conversation
Egyptian-American writer Matthew Shenoda speaks with poet Kwame Dawes about African poetics, reggae, and poetry of the African diaspora.
VideoNewsHour Poetry Series
- In Haiti, Writer Kwame Dawes Tells of Quake Aftermath Through Poetry
In collaboration with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, poet Kwame Dawes has been traveling to Haiti over the past year to report and write poems that capture the human side of the earthquake's aftermath.
- Poet Kwame Dawes Takes On HIV/AIDS in Jamaica
Kwame Dawes reads his poems and talks to correspondent Jeffrey Brown about HOPE: Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica.