Kwame Dawes

Andre Lambert

Kwame Dawes was born in Ghana in 1962 and moved with his family to Jamaica at the age of ten. His first book of poetry Progeny of Air (Peepal Tree, 1994) won the Forward Poetry Prize for best first collection in the UK. The author of fifteen subsequent collections, Dawes has also published two novels, four anthologies, and numerous essays, and has seen over fifteen of his plays produced. Dawes actively maintains his Jamaican roots. In 2009 he was awarded an Emmy for his interactive website entitled “Hope: Living and Loving with AIDS in Jamaica,” funded by the Pulitzer Center. At the University of South Carolina he was the Distinguished Poet-in-Residence, founder and executive director of the South Carolina Poetry Initiative, and director of the University of South Carolina Arts Institute. Since 2011 he has taught at the University of Nebraska as a Chancellor’s Professor of English, and has been the Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner. He is a Cave Canem faculty member and teaches in the MFA program at Pacific University.

Books by this author

Awards and Honors

Forward Poetry Prize

Emmy Award

Hollis Summers Poetry Prize

Finalist, Paterson Poetry Prize

Hurston/Wright Legacy Award

PEN/Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing