FLORENCE, S.C. – Kwame Dawes, a poet, novelist, playwright, scholar and musician, will speak at Francis Marion University, Thursday, March 25. The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Cauthen Educational Media Center’s Lowrimore Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.
Dawes is Distinguished Poet-in-Residence and professor of English at the University of South Carolina. Born in Ghana, raised in Jamaica and educated in Canada, he is a widely traveled, widely published, Pushcart Prize-winning poet, critic, novelist, playwright, storyteller, actor, editor and reggae singer.
Dawes’ many publications include a novel, Bivouac, a collection of short stories, A Place to Hide, and eight collections of poetry, among them Progeny of Air (Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection, UK); Resisting the Anomie; Prophets; Midland (Hollis Summers Poetry Prize by the Ohio University Press 2001); and Requiem – a suite of poems inspired by the illustrations of African-American artist Tom Feelings. Among the more recent of his 15 plays, One Love was produced at the Lyric Hammersmith in London and published by Methuen, and Stump of the Terebinth was the winner of Trinidad and Tobago’s 2001 National Schools Festival and toured with the St. Louis Black Repertory Theater Company. Dawes is also director of the South Carolina Poetry Initiative and contributes a regular column, “Poetically Speaking,” to The State newspaper.
Dawes has also published widely on such topics as reggae music, Caribbean literature, African-American literature, black British literature, and African literature.
The speech is presented by the Jones Thomas and Carolyn Stroman Hunter Chair in English Literature at FMU. The Hunter Chair in English Literature was established in 1991 by three sisters – Dorothy Hunter Thames Ellis, Adelle Hunter West and Hattie Costa Hunter King – as a memorial to their parents, Jones Thomas and Carolyn Stroman Hunter.
Mr. Hunter made his life in Marion County, was once mayor of Marion, contributed to many different organizations throughout the Pee Dee area, and operated a successful automobile dealership in Florence for 40 years. Mrs. Hunter came to Marion as a schoolteacher, was active in church work and taught Sunday School for more than 50 years. She was a charter member of several literary clubs, garden clubs and community organizations.
#122 / 3-4-04