To read, to read closely and be surprised, to study the craft and range a poet can teach us to reach toward, these are some of the deepest gifts that editing gives poets. These gifts become multiplied in the rare example of Kwame Dawes, whose available online publication offers readers 80+ poems to consider and whose craft, the contributors’ essays in this symposium teach us and the poems we gathered confirm, is entwined with an ethical and visionary project.
While exhibiting “an aesthetic which unites body, emotions, and intellect and brings into a single focus the political, the spiritual and the erotic,” the poems also showed us Dawes’ remarkable breadth and consistency: breadth in subject matter, language and form, consistency in the poems’ interrogative diligence and precision. This breadth and precision guided us while arranging the poems—rather than alphabetically or by date—through an exercise of collaging lines from them into a single piece (footnoted below).
We hope this archive offers you, as gathering it did us, an opportunity and space in which to “slow down the blink.”
—Poetry International Staff, with quotes from the work of, respect due, Kwame Dawes
Online Poetry Publications by Kwame Dawes 
“Slop Bucket” ,
“Coffin Riders” ,
“The Gay Olympian Considers an Argument at a Friends and Family Gathering Before Leaving for Sochi,” ,
“The Wounded Dancer.” Speakeasy, Wall Street Journal. 
* Post-publication note: for all of Dawes’ Olympic poetry, see Poetry of the Games. For a categorized list of all of Dawes’ contributions to Speakeasy, see here. Two additional poems from this series—one part of the original archive, one added by special request—appear later in this list .
“Portmore,” “Making Ends Meet,” “A Vanity,” “Cleaning,” “African Postman.” Universe of Poetry.     
“What God Says,” “Creek.” Plume.  
“Flack,” “If You Know Her,” “The Old Woman on the Road” & “Old Man Under Pecan Tree,” “Pennies,”“Exile: Reading the Sky,” “The Burden,” “Thieving,” “The Transaction,” “Iron.” Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire 13.2-3           (note: “Man” & “Two Plants” appear in Issue 14.1).
* Added to archive post publication: “Rehearsing Mourning at the Hotel Sankara.” Speakeasy, Wall Street Journal. 
“Rope.” Rattle. 
“Guyana 1966,” “Marriage & Verse,” “Forgetting,” “Hair.” Moko Magazine.   
“White Pigeon” ,
“Getting High” ,
“Mother and Child” ,
“In the Hospital” ,
in Ashes, with photography by Andre Lambertson, Virginia Quarterly Review.Dea
“Lesson,” “The Idea of Her,” “Time,” “Island Memory.” BOMB.    
 All memory is fiction
 when the warm of anger lashes me into a spin
 just like that, in the time
 where the road loses its way
 raging over the uneasy grave of the rhygin dread;
 broken, placid as saints, hobble
 their names, the parade of painful loss
 where the body loses its sense
 because you fear the silence that will consume,
 twist and contort to hold a smooth line—
 a path to understand the tears
 the crowd heaves like breath
 waiting to tell a lie, waiting
 in storms, the decay of barren soil,
 ever glorious. Everything is flat here,
 and all them leave is trouble
 before my bones take over. For
 sometimes you have to wipe
 under heavy lids, and your skin tight as leather
 eats away at the talc; a body
 because of love, and because God says
 stare at the opening sky
 in this twilight the rain stippling the eastern window
 and pray she will come back to you,
 touch you and remind you
 to keep those spirits where they must
 bloom, leap into wild giant
 lavender of wisteria. Then you feel
 light for a spell, easy in your skin
 of the language of the ancestors
 back from the grounds in the string
 with simple verbs scrawled all over
 them forever; you will see the way
 when at sunset the congregation gathers
 giving bodies, the humanity of our failings, the sweat, the taste of
 the meaning of poetry. The poet will beg for mercy
 from the sea. I have been losing hold
 on a barren street; trees thick,
 the cold and then a dose of
 the horror—in the gloom it is
 like that. Every song you sing
 pulling hard on the knot to keep our
 searching and not finding, all those hills
 in souls, but it is an easy sale when
 you have labored over for years
 with the spilled blood of despair
 dropped into the open pot, simmered.
 Faith multiplies itself
 reducing you to a shadow.
 I remember everything, and nothing at all;
 the contempt, the betrayal: this is verse.
 Normal even when my chest tightens
 the self-shaving that is, now that I have left
 a man who knows what we must.
 The calculation is simple enough:
 dreams, moving through the earth,
 swim, like prophesy in waves
 and the entanglement of steel,
 counting the words, searching.
 It, too, collapses,
 will gleam through the tender;
 what it is to bleed and sweat, we taste
 so low, dear Lord,
 grow smaller.
 No answers. You have given
 how they gutted you
 full of groove and hope
 and the ashes come,
 the city swallows us,
 its stars, but leaves
 shimmering like an oil slick on my street
 the chain of desire, and sweetness
 from your eyes,
 boys and girls who seem desperate for a language
 to sip water, to slake the graveled throat. In the day,
 transparent thin things.
 A sharply sloping plain
 about you: that you know the power
 of people saving their strength,
 their feline gleam, mischief riddled.
 I carry the weight of your shadow always
 and the world will carry on its weary march
 where you left a row half done,
 will know the famine of orphaned days.
 When you wonder how long you will be
 a river of lament, find the howl
 dies. By dawn you know death,
 and light—slow down the blink.