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Gomer’s Song


Award-winning poet Kwame Dawes explores the insidious nature of power and the limits of protest for Chris Abani’s Black Goat poetry series.

$14.95 $11.21

What people are saying…

“As someone who professes to be a writer, I’m struck dumb by Kwame Dawes’s pinpoint and devastating lyricism and the unflinching assurance of each and every stanza. These gems, threaded with mesmerizing narrative, exhibit both unbridled imagination and a lean technical mastery, a combination that Dawes’s fans rely on. This is the kind of work writers strive for. This is Dawes at the pinnacle of what he does.”
Patricia Smith, author of Teahouse of the Almighty


Read Kwame Dawes’s contribution to “Are We Related?”

Black Goat is an independent poetry imprint of Akashic Books created and curated by award-winning Nigerian author Chris Abani (author of Becoming Abigail and Song for Night). Black Goat is committed to publishing well-crafted poetry with a focus on experimental or thematically challenging work. The series aims to create a proportional representation of female poets and non-American poets, particularly poets from Africa.

Gomer’s Song is a contemporary reinterpretation of a Bible story. Gomer, a harlot, was the wife of the Old Testament prophet Hosea. But even after her marriage to Hosea, she refused to conform to her expected role. In Gomer, poet Kwame Dawes finds the subject for a beautiful contemporary exploration on the cost of arriving at freedom with an uneasy grace.

Dawes examines the insidious nature of power, the expectations of gender roles, and the limits of protest. Through Gomer’s journey, we are asked to consider how each one of us must articulate not only our own defiance, but tally the costs of earning our individuality. Gomer’s Song is a great fable for finding our humanity in the confusion of a post-9/11 world. This is tender a book with profound lyrical insights.

Watch Kwame Dawes and Vampire Weekend’s appearance at Barnes and Noble’s Upstairs at the Square.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Published: 9/1/07
  • IBSN: 9781933354446


Kwame Dawes is the Ghana-born, award-winning author of twenty-two books of poetry—including Sturge Town from Norton—and numerous other books of fiction, criticism, and essays. He has won Pushcart Prizes, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Emmy, and was the 2019 awardee of the Windham-Campbell Prize in Poetry. He is series editor of the African Poetry Book Series—the latest of which is Kumi: New-Generation African Poets, A Chapbook Box Set. He currently teaches at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

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