Kwame Dawes

Cindy Seip

Kwame Dawes is the author of 21 books of poetry and has written or edited numerous other books of fiction, criticism, and essays. His most recent books include the poetry collections City of Bones: A Testament and Punto de Burro, and the novel Bivouac. He is director of the African Poetry Book Fund, editor of the award-winning African Poetry Book Series, and artistic director of the Calabash International Literary Festival. Born in Ghana and raised in Jamaica, Dawes relocated to the U.S. in 1992, eventually settling in Lincoln, Nebraska. In Nebraska: Poems (University of Nebraska Press), Dawes explores a constant them of his work – the intersection of memory, home, and artistic invention. The poems here are set against the backdrop of Nebraska’s cycle of seasons, and they are meditative even as they search for a sense of place in a new landscape. He grapples with life as a transplant with a strong sense of place and haunting memories. Luke Hollis, in Harvard Review Online, noted that “Dawes is no longer a stranger to the middle American landscape, now a welcome newcomer creating space for new voices to be heard.”