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.
Audio & PodcastsPoetry Lectures
International Poets in Conversation: Matthew Shenoda
Kwame Dawes speaks with Matthew Shenoda about Shenoda's poetry and identity as an Egyptian American, and the poetry of the African diaspora.
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.