Renowned Poet Kwame Dawes to give workshop at Langston Hughes Poetry Center

The Langston Hughes Poetry Center at Allen University will host world- renowned author and poet Kwame Dawes who will present the workshop, Poetry in the Bible, from 9:30 a.m.  – Noon on Saturday, May 18. The event is free and open to the public.

As part of this interactive workshop, attendees will:

  • Explore the poetic images that surface in biblical passages to serve as seeds for the development of new poems
  • Understand the powerful use of the refrain to create moments of musicality in a poem
  • Revisit the key parables for the purpose of creating a bank of prayer poems.


Often called the “busiest man in literature,” Dawes has  authored 35 books of poetry, fiction, criticism and essays, including, most recently, Bivouac (Akashic Books, 2019) and City of Bones: A Testament (Northwestern, 2017). He intertwines his knowledge of the Bible and teachings of Christ in numerous poems.

He is the Glenna Luschei editor of Prairie Schooner and the Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of Nebraska. He is also a faculty member in the Pacific University Master of Fine Arts program. Dawes is director of the African Poetry Book Fund and artistic director of the Calabash International Literary Festival. He also serves as  chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Named after acclaimed poet, Langston Hughes, the center contains more than 2,000 books which not only honor the African-American poetic heritage, but feature poetic works with an international scope. The collection includes signed copies contributed by some of the leading poets of the 20th and 21st century. The Langston Hughes Poetry Center is located at 1329 Pine Street in Columbia.