Award-winning poet Kwame Dawes will release his 17th poetry collection on April 16, 2013 (US, Cooper Canyon). The title of the collection, Duppy Conqueror, is no doubt inspired by Bob Marley, who Dawes has previously written about (Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius).
Just this month, I read Dawes’s debut poetry collection, Progeny of Air; it was my first time reading a collection of poetry. It really impressed upon my the possibilities of storytelling with poetry (as did Bernadine Evaristo’s novel-in-verse Lara). For those of you who predominately read fiction or creative non-fiction, you should absolutely give poetry a chance and Dawes would be a great starting point
Duppy Conqueror: New and Selected Poems
“[Dawes] is highly original and intelligent, possessing poetic sensibility that is rooted and sound, unshakeable and unstopped, both in its vibrancy and direction. He writes poetry as it ought to be written.”—World Literature Today
“Dawes asserts himself as man and artist and finally, with grace achieved and grace said, sits down to begin life’s tragic feast … a writer of major significance.”—Brag Book
“The notion of a reggae aesthetic—of the language moving to a different rhythm, under different kinds of pressure … underpins all Dawes’ work as poet.”—Stewart Brown
Born in Ghana, raised in Jamaica, and educated in Canada, Kwame Dawes is a dynamic and electrifying poet. In this generous collection, new poems appear with the best work from fifteen previous volumes. Deeply nuanced in exploring the human condition, Dawes’ poems are filled with complex emotion and consistently remind us what it means to be a global citizen.
From “The Lessons”:
Fingers can be trained to make shapes
that, pressed just right on the gleaming
keys, will make a sound that can stay
tears or cause them to flow for days.
Anyone can learn to make some music,
but not all have the heart to beat
out the tunes that will turn us inside out…