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Ghanaian Author Kwame Dawes Announced as New Poet Laureate of Jamaica

Kwame Dawes was born in Ghana and is a widely acclaimed poet, editor, critic, and musician

Ghanaian author, Professor Kwame Dawes, has been announced as Jamaica’s new poet laureate

The announcement was made earlier this month by Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia “Babsy” Grange.

The Poet Laureate of Jamaica is given a three-year tenure with the responsibility of developing and executing a programme of activities that support the reading, writing, and promotion of Jamaican poetry.

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“I am pleased with the selection of Professor Dawes. He is deserving of this honour given his years of foundational work and contributions made to the literary landscape of Jamaica. Dawes is a naturalised citizen of Jamaica, having grown up here, and in 2004 was awarded the Musgrave Silver Medal for Literature. In 2022, he was awarded National Honours, the Order of Distinction Commander class,” Grange is quoted by local outlet, the Jamaica Observer to have said.

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Kwame Dawes was born in Ghana and is a widely acclaimed poet, editor, critic, and musician whose work has brought him global recognition exploring themes such as identity, migration, and the human experience.

He is the author of 35 books of poetry with numerous other books of fiction as well as essays. He co-founded the world-class Calabash International Literary Festival, a popular event in the Island nation that was inaugurated in 2001 and now takes place biennially.

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Dawes is also the winner of the prestigious Windham/Campbell Award for Poetry and was a finalist for the 2022 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.

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