Kwame Dawes at UNK

Poet Kwame Dawes is the featured guest at the next Reynolds Visiting Writers Series event hosted by the University of Nebraska at Kearney Department of English.

He’ll present “What is Nebraska?” at 7 p.m. Feb. 22 in the main floor atrium at UNK’s Discovery Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Born in Ghana and raised in Jamaica, Dawes’ poetry is influenced by his passion for reggae music. His book “Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius” remains the most authoritative study of Marley’s lyrics.

The author of numerous books and poetry collections, Dawes serves as the Glenna Luschei Editor of the Prairie Schooner literary magazine and a George Holmes Distinguished Professor in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of English. His most recent poetry collection, Nebraska, was published in 2019 by University of Nebraska Press.

Dawes also teaches in the Master of Fine Arts in Writing program at Pacific University and is series editor of the African Poetry Book Series, director of the African Poetry Book Fund and artistic director of the Calabash International Literary Festival. He was a chancellor for the Academy of American Poets and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

In 2022, Dawes was awarded the Order of Distinction Commander class by the Jamaican government. Other awards include the Forward Prize for Poetry, Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, Musgrave Silver Medal for Literature, Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, Barnes and Noble Writers for Writers Award, Pushcart Prize and an Emmy for LiveHopeLove, an interactive website based on the Kwame Dawes Pulitzer Prize Center project HOPE: Living and Loving with AIDS in Jamaica.