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Kwame Dawes. Photo by Christina Paschyn, 2010.

Kwame Dawes is a Ghanaian-Jamaican writer and poet. He is the author of more than a dozen collections of verse, including the critically-acclaimed "Wisteria: Poems From the Swamp Country." Dawes is also the author of numerous plays, essays and books.

He is the Distinguished Poet in Residence at the University of South Carolina, where he founded and serves as the executive director of the South Carolina Poetry Initiative. He also is the director of the University of South Carolina Arts Institute and the programming director of the Calabash International Literary Festival, which takes place in Jamaica in May of each year.

Dawes won a 2008 Emmy Award for his Pulitzer Center-sponsored reporting project, Hope: Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica. Most recently, he traveled to Haiti to cover the aftermath of the quake.

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