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Reading: Kwame Dawes

Born in Ghana and raised in Jamaica, Kwame Dawes is a poet of precision, passion, and lyricism. At this event, Dawes reads from three of his books: Gomer's Song tells the story of Gomer, the adulterous wife of the prophet Hosea, daringly recast in a contemporary setting.  Impossible Flying examines themes of mental illness, familial complications, and identity and place.  And Wisteria, Twilight Songs from the Swamp Country contains poems written in the voices of elderly African American women from South Carolina whom Dawes interviewed in 1995.

Kwame Dawes is Distinguished Poet in Residence, Louis Frye Scudder Professor of Liberal Arts and Founder and executive Director of the South Carolina Poetry Initiative. He is the director of the University of South Carolina Arts Institute and the programming director of the Calabash International Literary Festival, which takes place in Jamaica in May of each year. Dawes is also the winner of the Ford Prize, has penned the definitive study of Bob Marley's lyrics, and is a frequent contributor to The Poetry Foundation's blog, Harriet.  Hear Dawes, the self-described "busiest man in literature today," read, sing, and give insight into his work.

This event is cosponsored by The Poetry Foundation.


Recorded Thursday, January 10, 2008 at The Art Institute of Chicago.

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