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Nebraska: Poems

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Kwame Dawes is not a native Nebraskan. Born in Ghana, he later moved to Jamaica, where he spent most of his childhood and early adulthood. In 1992 he relocated to the United States and eventually found himself an American living in Lincoln, Nebraska. In Nebraska, this beautiful and evocative collection of poems, Dawes explores a theme constant in his work—the intersection Kwame Dawes is not a native Nebraskan. Born in Ghana, he later moved to Jamaica, where he spent most of his childhood and early adulthood. In 1992 he relocated to the United States and eventually found himself an American living in Lincoln, Nebraska. In Nebraska, this beautiful and evocative collection of poems, Dawes explores a theme constant in his work—the intersection of memory, home, and artistic invention. The poems, set against the backdrop of Nebraska’s discrete cycle of seasons, are meditative even as they search for a sense of place in a new landscape. While he shovels snow or walks in the bitter cold to his car, he is engulfed with memories of Kingston, yet when he travels, he finds himself longing for the open space of the plains and the first snowfall. With a strong sense of place and haunting memories, Dawes grapples with life in Nebraska as a transplant.   Purchase the audio edition.


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Kwame Dawes is not a native Nebraskan. Born in Ghana, he later moved to Jamaica, where he spent most of his childhood and early adulthood. In 1992 he relocated to the United States and eventually found himself an American living in Lincoln, Nebraska. In Nebraska, this beautiful and evocative collection of poems, Dawes explores a theme constant in his work—the intersection Kwame Dawes is not a native Nebraskan. Born in Ghana, he later moved to Jamaica, where he spent most of his childhood and early adulthood. In 1992 he relocated to the United States and eventually found himself an American living in Lincoln, Nebraska. In Nebraska, this beautiful and evocative collection of poems, Dawes explores a theme constant in his work—the intersection of memory, home, and artistic invention. The poems, set against the backdrop of Nebraska’s discrete cycle of seasons, are meditative even as they search for a sense of place in a new landscape. While he shovels snow or walks in the bitter cold to his car, he is engulfed with memories of Kingston, yet when he travels, he finds himself longing for the open space of the plains and the first snowfall. With a strong sense of place and haunting memories, Dawes grapples with life in Nebraska as a transplant.   Purchase the audio edition.

42 review for Nebraska: Poems

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I really loved this book. The combination of immigrant and native voice and how sometimes we are both things. As well as his use of color or lack thereof. Slow and deep moving.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Charlton

    A wonderful meditation on place and displacement.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Meesh

    My husband introduced me to Kwame Dawes, sharing an extraordinary poem he’d stumbled upon in a New Yorker magazine. We read it over and over and spent a long time talking about its impact on us both, the spare beauty of the language, there was just so much to this single poem. I went searching the library and found this one book of poems: Nebraska. I don’t understand why his books aren’t more available. Perhaps people felt the way I did at first, that I wanted to hoard these poems, keep them at My husband introduced me to Kwame Dawes, sharing an extraordinary poem he’d stumbled upon in a New Yorker magazine. We read it over and over and spent a long time talking about its impact on us both, the spare beauty of the language, there was just so much to this single poem. I went searching the library and found this one book of poems: Nebraska. I don’t understand why his books aren’t more available. Perhaps people felt the way I did at first, that I wanted to hoard these poems, keep them at hand, read them again and again. In the end my husband was wise, he just bought a copy. I’m hoping he’ll share it. Nebraska is split into four parts, mirroring the seasons. Dawes poems are so resonant, so deeply personal, yet so completely universal and accessible- I kept going back and rereading poems I thought I’d finished with, each time discovering some new thing to explore. Now I want to read everything he’s written.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Saddiq Dzukogi

    By far the best poetry collection I read in 2019!!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lucien H. Chretien

  6. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Anaxagorou

  7. 4 out of 5

    Anneka Ramirez

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lizzy

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bryan

  10. 5 out of 5

    David Abrams

  11. 5 out of 5

    Geoffrey Philp

  12. 5 out of 5

    D.A. Gray

  13. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

  14. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kent

  16. 5 out of 5

    Meg

  17. 4 out of 5

    Megan Reich

  18. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bryce Emley

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

  21. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

  22. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

  23. 4 out of 5

    Breanna Carr

  24. 5 out of 5

    Casey Logan

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Howell

  26. 4 out of 5

    Conor

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sharon L.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chris Vallancourt

  29. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Kermmoade

  31. 5 out of 5

    Annah Buss

  32. 4 out of 5

    Greg Walklin

  33. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Laromani

  34. 4 out of 5

    Anna

  35. 4 out of 5

    Libby

  36. 5 out of 5

    M

  37. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  38. 5 out of 5

    Grant Garrison

  39. 5 out of 5

    Megan

  40. 4 out of 5

    Nima

  41. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  42. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Poli

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