The beat and language of reggae arose from the Jamaican countryside and the sidewalks of Kingston, but they're basic for the poets represented in Wheel and Come Again. This remains true even though the poets' personal worlds range from the street to the university and from the tropics to Toronto, New York, and London.
Wheel and Come Again features works by 28 poets of Caribbean origin; some remain in the islands, and others have migrated to North America and Britain. The book includes works by Canadian poets such as Rachel Manley, Afua Cooper, Lillian Allen, Olive Senior, and Clifton Joseph; UK poets including Linton Kwesi Johnson and Jean "Binta" Breeze; US writers Rohan B. Preston, Fred d'Aguiar, and others; and Island poets such as Anthony MacNeill and Lorna Goodison.
Kwame Dawes is truly a poet with an international voice and a burgeoning international reputation. Dawes was born in Ghana of Jamaican parents and grew up in Jamaica. He spent time as a child in England, and later studied and taught at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. He is the founder and lead singer of Ujaama, a reggae band that reunited in 2000 to open the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Fredericton. Now a professor of post-colonial literature at the University of South Carolina, Dawes is a frequent presence on the Canadian cultural scene as a consultant on race relations and the arts, and as a commentator on CBC Radio. Dawes's first collection of poetry, Progeny of Air, won England's Forward Poetry Prize in 1994. Since then, he has published five collections, including the widely praised Resisting the Anomie. Kwame Dawes is also the editor of Talk Yuh Talk, a collection of interviews with Caribbean poets, and Wheel and Come Again, the landmark anthology of reggae poetry.
Pub date: June 1, 1998