The author of over a dozen books, his most recent collections of poetry include Wisteria: Poems From the Swamp Country (2006), Impossible Flying (2006), Back of Mount Peace (2009), Hope’s Hospice (2009), Wheels (2011), and Duppy Conqueror: New and Selected Poems (2013), among many others. Dawes’s novels include She’s Gone (2007), and Bivouac (2010), and his non-fiction collections include A Far Cry From Plymouth Rock: A Personal Narrative (2007) and Fugue and Other Writings (2012). His work has been included in anthologies including So Much Things to Say (2010) and many others.
His awards include an Emmy and Webby for LiveHopeLove, an interactive website based on the Kwame Dawes Pulitzer Prize Center project HOPE: Living and Loving with AIDS in Jamaica. Dawes’s work reporting on the HIV AIDS in Haiti after the earthquake formed a key component of reporting done by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting that won the National Press Club Joan Friedenberg Award for Online Journalism and was released as the i-book Voices of Haiti (2012). Dawes’s other honors and award include the Forward Prize for Poetry for his first book Progeny of Air (1994); the Hollis Summers Prize for Poetry; a Pushcart Prize; the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; the Poets and Writers Barnes and Noble Writers for Writers Award; and a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship. In 2004 he received the Musgrave Silver Medal for contribution to the Arts in Jamaica and in 2008 the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for service to the arts in South Carolina. In 2009 he was inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors.
Dawes is currently the Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of Nebraska. The co-founder and programming directory of the Calabash International Literary Fesitval, he also teaches in the Pacific MFA Writing Program and is on the faculty of Cave Canem.
Articles By KWAME DAWES
- Nikky Finney: “The Afterbirth, 1931”
“somethin’ wasn’t right:” How Finney captures an American nightmare.
Blog Posts By KWAME DAWES
- Stories I Like To Tell
- Facts and Truth
- "Middle Passage"--Robert Hayden
- The University as the Poet's Community
- Haitian Fragments
More blog posts by Kwame Dawes (121 posts)
- We Got Your Back
- Thinking of Toni Cade Bambara (1939-1995)
- UNMENTIONABLE MATTERS
- ON TIMELESSNESS
- THE PLEASURES OF EXILE
- WHY I NO LONGER NEED TO LEARN MY POEMS BY HEART
- ON INSPIRATION, PRACTICE AND BLOCKS
- Suffering and Form
- "Poets Change the World"
- Back to Empathy
- Give me a Million Bucks, Please!
- The Church of Poetry
- Sometimes it is Just Boring
- A day of Amnesty
- Why I am Worried About Being at AWP
- CALABASH DISPATCHES--SUNDAY
- CALABSH DISPATCHES-DAY THREE
- CALABASH DISPATCH--FRIDAY NIGHT
- CALABASH DISPATCHES 2009
- CALABASH 08—IMAGINE—Festival Dispatches
- CALABASH—IMAGINE—Festival Dispatches
- CALABSH 2008--IMAGINE-Walcott
- CALABSH 2008--IMAGINE
- Jena Six
- Naipaul on Walcott
- A Brief History of the Computer and Me
- The Games Poets Play
- All Memory is Fiction, Again
- Reflectons on Porridge
- Finding Poems
- The Dark Night of the Soul
- Apropos of Nothing
- Judges, Editors and Poetry Manuscripts: Some Musings
- On Promoting Poetry
- CREATION REBEL
- Black Enough?
- August Wilson
- The Still Point
- Song of Songs
- "The Afterbirth, 1931"--the Poem
- "Hic Jacet" by Derek Walcott
- "The Windhover"
- "The Afterbirth"
- My "Papers"
- Reading my Old Poems
- All Memory Is Fiction
- FATHER'S DAY
- Discerning the Hub
- Translating Again
- Hopkins and Me
- Copyright Matters
- Calabash, The Third Day
- Calabash--Second Day and Night
- Calabash--First Night
- Ken, Yuh Draw Bad Card
- Lucille Clifton
- More "Political Poetry"
- Political Poetry
- Poetry Out-Loud Finals
- Native Guard
- My First Poem: A Fable
- I'm Okay, I'm Just Floundering
- More Translation Matters
- Does He Not Have a First Name?
- Martin Espada
- Difficult Poetry
- Another Blog About Blogging
- National Poetry Month
- Don't Panic
- Here's The Elephant
- How To Read From a Novel AND Sell Books
- Train Schedules
- More on Community: Why We Do This
- Translation: Better Than Never Kissing At All II
- Translation: Better Than Never Kissing At All
- Starting the Young
- Singer on Poetry
- The Reading
- A Confession
- And What of the Haiku?
- The Hard Poem: A Sort of Fiction
- Oh, The Terror, The Terror!
- Poetry Terrors
- Kingston Afternoon
- As Jamaican as I am, I am not Jamaican
- Cricket, Lovely Cricket
- One of Those Really Typical Blogs
- What I Wrote to an African American Friend Today About Race and Art
- POEMS THAT LAST TAKE TWO
- Book Talking
- Inspired to Last
- Barbecue and History
- Fifty Years On...
- Talking Back
- Memory Letter #1
- Journal, Day Five
- Journal, Day Four
- Journal, Day Three
- Journal, Day Two
- Journal, Day One
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.
Matthew Shenoda: International Poets in Conversation
Kwame Dawes speaks with Matthew Shenoda about Shenoda's poetry and identity as an Egyptian American, and the 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.