Saturday, October 27, 2007

Kwesi Brew, Ghanaian Poet

As a recent college graduate and Peace Corps trainee at Teacher's College-Columbia University, I discovered the world of West African literature as I prepared to teach secondary school English in Ghana. I had never heard of Ghana before I received my Peace Corps invitation the spring of my senior year at Davidson College in 1967. Nor was I able to name a single West African writer despite my degree in English Literature. I had not heard of dramatist Wole Soyinka, novelist Chinua Achebe, or poet Leopold Sedar Senghor. With the help of anthologies such as Langston Hughes' An African Treasury (1960), I began to learn about the outpouring of writing from Africa, especially the work that came in the wake of the independence movement that was sweeping the continent. Among the Ghanaian poets I discovered was Kwesi Brew, who--like Senghor in Senegal--was a politician and diplomat as well as a literary man. Brew, born in 1928, died the other day in Cape Coast, his home town.

Obituary for Ghanaian poet Kwesi Brew from The Guardian Unlimited
"The Slums of Nima" by Kwesi Brew
Other poems by Kwesi Brew

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