Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Kwame Dawes - Haiti Poems

In Haiti, Writer Kwame Dawes Tells of Quake Aftermath Through Poetry

"I cry, and then I laugh. Just like that, in a few seconds, I laugh, and then I cry, and I dream again."

             Haiti Poem: Bebe's Wish
            Haiti Poem: Mother of Mothers

Kwame Senu Neville Dawes (born 1962) is a poet, actor, editor, critic, musician and professor of English at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.
Dawes was born in Ghana in 1962 and grew up in Jamaica where he attended Jamaica College and the University of the West Indies at Mona. He studied and taught in New Brunswick, Canada on a Commonwealth Scholarship. As a PhD student at the University of New Brunswick, he was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Brunswickan.

Since 1992 he has been teaching at the University of South Carolina. He is a Professor in English and also Distinguished Poet in Residence, Director of the South Carolina Poetry Initiative and Director of the USC Arts Institute. He is also the faculty advisor for the publication Yemassee.

Dawes collaborated with San Francisco-based writer and composer Kevin Simmonds on Wisteria: Twilight Songs from the Swamp Country which debuted at Royal Festival Hall in 2006 and featured sopranos Valetta Brinson and Valerie Johnson.
In 2009, Dawes won an Emmy Award in the category of New Approaches to News & Documentary Programming: Arts, Lifestyle & Culture. His project documented HIV/AIDS in Jamaica, interspersed with poetry, photographs, and other media. The website "Livehopelove.com" is the culmination of his project.

           Haiti Poem: Storm by Kwame Dawes

          Haiti Poem: Ganthier by Kwame Dawes

        Haiti Poem: Precious Are The Feet of Those... by Kwame Dawes

       Haiti Poem: Boy in Blue by Kwame Dawes

Voices from Haiti: Tomb (Kreyol version)