Author: Kwame Dawes
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (2019)
Kwame Dawes is not a native Nebraskan. Born in Ghana, he later moved to Jamaica, where he spent most of his childhood and early adulthood. In 1992 he relocated to the United States and eventually found himself an American living in Lincoln, Nebraska.
In Nebraska, this beautiful and evocative collection of poems, Dawes explores a theme constant in his work—the intersection of memory, home, and artistic invention. The poems, set against the backdrop of Nebraska’s discrete cycle of seasons, are meditative even as they search for a sense of place in a new landscape. While he shovels snow or walks in the bitter cold to his car, he is engulfed with memories of Kingston, yet when he travels, he finds himself longing for the open space of the plains and the first snowfall. With a strong sense of place and haunting memories, Dawes grapples with life in Nebraska as a transplant.
"Dawes is no longer a stranger to the middle American landscape, now a welcome newcomer creating space for new voices to be heard."
"As the poet contemplates the wealth of opportunity that seems innate—now, as well as when the plains people first saw the land, concluding in Prairie that the wide-ranging opportunity must be home to imagination and continual new beginnings. This is where Nebraska meets the poet most intimately, as a place of riches and with a history of new beginnings."