Kwame Dawes takes over as editor of American Life in Poetry

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Award-winning poet, author, and editor Kwame Dawes has published his first weekly column as American Life in Poetry editor, in partnership with the Poetry Foundation and University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dawes is taking the column forward after its founding editor and curator, Ted Kooser, retired after 15 years as project creator and editor. The first poem featured is ‘They Dance Through Granelli's’ by Pat Emile, a homage to the recently retired editorial assistant of the project for 15 years.

“This column is rooted in the everyday, the broad sense of Americanness that eschews elitism and that embraces a democratic sense of lives that make sense to a vast cross section of the population,” Dawes said. “I welcome readers who can engage in a wide section of American life, can find poetry that speaks to various aspects of American existence, and that somehow embraces the full range of this America.”

Dawes is the author of 22 books of poetry and numerous other books of fiction, criticism, and essays. His collection Nebraska was published in 2020.

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