Transcending Boundaries: Kwame Dawes’ Digital Projects

Lamia Zaibi

Lecturer, Higher School of Digital Economy, University of Manouba, Tunisia., ORCID: 0000-0003-2306-6881

Volume IX, Number 3, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n3.12

Received August 11, 2017; Revised September 16, 2017; Accepted September 18, 2017; Published September 20,  2017.


In this new digital era, marked by the proliferation of social networking and advanced media tools, writers have found themselves bound to engage with technology in order to access wider audiences. The Ghanian- born Jamaican award-winning poet and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner Kwame Dawes is representative of Caribbean artists whose digital-based collaborations have had an impact on the way his work is shaped and designed. By focusing on major online projects such as “Live Hope Love”, “Voices of Haiti” and “Ashes”, this paper seeks to show how Dawes uses the digital space as a site where the boundaries between different genres of communication are blurred opening the possibility for poems to perform off the page, thus extending the long tradition of performance poetry. My reading of digital poems in light of their performative potential is informed by performance studies theorists and critics who contend that by virtue of the medium used, both the acts of writing and reading are a performance.

Keywords: digital, performance, poetry, Dawes, multimodal.