Dawes in the Daily Maverick: “Saving African poetry from obscurity”

Kwame and Lorna Dawes
Photo credit: David Harrison

September 2, 2022

Kwame DawesLorna Dawes, and the work of the African Poetry Book Fund were featured this week in The Daily Maverick, the online newspaper out of Johannesburg, South Africa. Journalist Karin Schimke talks with Kwame and Lorna about the APBF and its Mellon grant–funded archival project, the African Poetry Digital Portal, highlighting the ways this work has benefitted—and continues to benefit—South African poets and African poetry as a whole.

The article is free to read with registration on The Daily Maverick’s website.

An ambitious dream to bring African poetry into the international arena is doing more than just decolonising the canon.

While on a trip to Cape Town some years ago, the multi-award-winning, Ghanaian-born poet Kwame Dawes and his colleague and friend Chris Abani, a Nigerian-American author, dreamed up a scheme that fundamentally changed the way the world views African poetry.

...“It’s unprecedented and quite remarkable,” Dawes said over a caffè latte recently on his last day of a whistle-stop trip that included Accra in Ghana and Cape Town. “What it has done is open the way for the other publishers to start paying attention and to start publishing African poetry.”

Read the full story at dailymaverick.co.za »