Kwame Dawes

Literary Birthday – 28 July – Kwame Dawes

Happy Birthday, Kwame Dawes, born 28 July 1962.


  1. I work with musicians routinely, and we continue to combine music and poetry in ways that I think are meaningful.
  2. This poet is a griot in search of a village.
  3. I believe that all fiction is personal and all writing is at some level personal. As you may know, my motto is: ‘All memory is fiction’. It could just as easily be: ‘All fiction is memory’. Unpacked, these two statements defy the ease of logic, but offer some really important truths about narrative art, at the very least, and about memory. So I would say that all art is personal.
  4. Maybe that is the power of poetry. It somehow transcends news cycles, and becomes a part of our collective imagination.
  5. I am most interested in people. I try to capture their complexity and contradiction and beauty. It does not matter where they are from.

Read Kwame Dawes Memo to Poets – A Twitter Journey

Kwame Dawes is Ghana-born poet, actor, editor, critic, and musician, who grew up in Jamaica. His collections of poetry include Wisteria: Poems From the Swamp CountryImpossible Flying, and Back of Mount Peace. He is Professor of English at the University of Nebraska and editor-in-chief at the Prairie Schooner.

Photo: Via publicists / credit to © Rachel Eliza Griffiths

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 28th July 2014