Kwame Dawes Names a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets

Kwame Dawes, Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has been named a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. The honorary position has been held by some of America’s most distinguished poets.

Ellen Bass, Academy Chancellor stated that Professor Dawes’ “brilliant poetry is deeply compassionate, ruthlessly honest, rich in spirit, imagination, and intelligence. His colossal outpouring of poems both stun and console us. Rooted in music, they sing of struggle and transcendence. The breadth of his work as a poet of witness, documentarian, collaborator, performer and more has brought the world to poetry and poetry to the world.”

Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets consult with the members of organization on matters of artistic programming, serve as judges for the organization’s largest prizes for poets, and act as ambassadors of poetry in the world at large.

Professor Dawes was born in Ghana and raised in Jamaica. He is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of New Brunswick in Canada. He published his first collection of poetry in 1994. His most recent book is City of Bones: A Testament (Northwestern University Press, 2017). Professor Dawes also serves as the Glenna Luschei Editor of the literary journal Prairie Schooner.


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  1. I moved to Columbia, SC in 2008 and knew Kwame briefly before he left. He was a gift to South Carolina poetry and is talked about and missed on daily basis.

    Blessings and light

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