The Pacific Index

Kwame Dawes to read from books of poetry

Dawes has traveled to Jamaica and Haiti to document the struggle of their citizens.

Dawes has traveled to Jamaica and Haiti to document the struggle of their citizens.

Rebecca Lopez

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Pacific’s Visiting Writers Series will feature author and Emmy Award winner, Kwame Dawes on April 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Taylor Auditorium.

Dawes won an Emmy Award for his multimedia website in 2009. The site used poetry and photographs to portray the HIV/AIDS crisis in Jamaica.

Born in Ghana, Dawes has close ties to Jamaica because he lived most of his childhood and early adult life there.

Additionally, Dawes has written 13 books of poetry and numerous pieces of fiction, non-fiction and drama. He is Distinguished Poet in Residence at the University of South Carolina. Dawes is also the programming director of Calabash International Literary Festival, which takes place each May in Jamaica.

Some of his most recent work includes reflection on Haiti during the aftermath of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in 2010.

Dawes traveled to Haiti through the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to talk to and report on the Haitian experience after the earthquake. Some of the individual stories became poetry.

“I cannot avoid a good story. You know, a good narrative tells me there’s a poem here or there’s an image that is going to emerge out of it,” said Dawes in an interview with Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Continued coverage of Haiti by Dawes can be found at the Pulitzer Center’s and USA Today’s website.

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