New Book: Kwame Dawes’ “A Bloom of Stones”


Due on March 25, 2013, is Kwame Dawes’ A Bloom of Stones: A Trilingual Anthology of Haitian Poems After the Earthquake. This collection presents a wide array of voices through French and Haitian Creole poems along with their English-language translations.

Description: On 12th January 2010 an earthquake broke apart the city of Port au Prince and stretches of the Haitian landscape, killing almost 300,000 people, injuring 200,000 more and leaving 1.2 million people homeless. Poet Kwame Dawes, during his four trips to Haiti over the ten months that followed, put out a call to Haitian poets for a response. Here are poems about the rupture of love, the shock of sudden disaster, the hunger for more beauty in the world, the shattering of landscapes, and ultimately, poems that explore the incomprehensible nature of our mortality. Presenting French and Haitian Creole poems alongside their English translations, this trilingual anthology is a necessary bridge across the languages of the Caribbean, and introduces readers to some exciting Haitian voices.

Kwame Dawes is widely acknowledged as the foremost Caribbean poet of the post-Walcott generation. Born in Ghana in 1962 but raised in Jamaica, he is a poet, actor, editor, critic, musician and professor of English. He is the author of 17 books, and his awards include the Forward Prize for Best First Collection for Progeny of Air (1994) and a 2001 Pushcart Prize. He recently won an Emmy for his contribution to, a multimedia website on the human face of HIV/AIDS in Jamaica. His 2009 Peepal Tree poetry collection Hope’s Hospice was inspired by the project. He recently edited the anthology Red: Contemporary Black British Poetry (2009).

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3 thoughts on “New Book: Kwame Dawes’ “A Bloom of Stones”

  1. Kwame Dawes’ A Bloom of Stones : certainly should be an interesting, power-house poetry reading for all of us who felt deep emotional and spiritual attachment to the earthquake catastrophe that changed Haiti and the Haitian people. My own contribution is copied here:


    …now comes voodoo dance
    man still jumping in a trance
    head on totem pole….

    dark bodies lying
    silent near the twisted fence
    waking of the dead…

    a choir sings a hymn
    it is not the Lord’s prayer
    love is never lost.

    Leonard Dabydeen
    Submitted: Thursday, February 25, 2010

    Children of the Night [Haiti Refugee Camp]
    (A Tetractys Poem)

    do not
    want to be
    here among them
    they are part of these bedrock make-shift tents.

    Their dreams are torn just like their tattered clothes
    always hungry
    wish for food
    to eat

    are ghosts
    of the night
    fearful to cry
    no one can listen to silent voices.

    Across the horizon music playing
    people dancing
    shameful joy

    Leonard Dabydeen
    Submitted: Monday, December 24, 2012
    Edited: Tuesday, December 25, 2012

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