The Poet as Witness

image poet as witness

The workshop will be arranged into three movements:

Craft Talk “What the Poet’s Body Says”

Writing Exercise: “The Historical Present”

Writing Exercise: “Ekphrastic: The Art of Distraction.”

The poets should come prepared to generate new work and to leave with ideas for many more.  The premise of the workshop is that all poetry is first defined by craft, and then by its “content.”

Kwame Dawes is Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Glenna Luschei Editor of the literary magazine Prairie Schooner, and a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. His many honours include the Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection, a Guggenheim Fellowship for Poetry, the Musgrave Silver Medal for contribution to the Arts in Jamaica, the Poets & Writers Barnes and Noble Writers for Writers Award, and a Pushcart Prize.

In 2009 he won an Emmy Award for Live, Love, Hope, a multimedia performance poetry and music piece that explores the lives of people living with HIV AIDS in Jamaica. His works of poetry, fiction, plays, and criticism include: City of Bones: A Testament (2017), Duppy Conqueror: New and Selected Poems (2013); Bivouac (2010); She’s Gone (2007); A Far Cry from Plymouth Rock: A Personal Narrative (2006); and Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius (2003). He is co-founder and programming director of the biannual Calabash International Literary Festival in Jamaica, and founding director of the African Poetry Book Fund, which advances the development and publication of the poetic arts of Africa.

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Humanities & Identities

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Audience: Open to all