Kwame Dawes is a writer of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and plays. Born in Ghana in 1962, Dawes spent most of his childhood and early adult life in Jamaica. As a poet, he is profoundly influenced by the rhythms and textures of that lush place, citing in a recent interview his “spiritual, intellectual, and emotional engagement with reggae music.” His book Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius remains the most authoritative study of the lyrics of Bob Marley. Dawes has also published 15 collections of poetry. His most recent titles include Back of Mount Peace and Hope’s Hospice. His book, Requiem is a suite of poems inspired by the illustrations of African American artist Tom Feelings in his landmark book The Middle Passage: White Ships/Black Cargo. He has also published two novels: Bivouac and She’s Gone, winner of the 2008 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. In 2007 he released a memoir, A Far Cry From Plymouth Rock: A Personal Narrative, called “a poet’s eloquent meditation on the complexities of history, race and the oft-broken promise of America,” by Geoff Dyer.