South Carolina State University will present a four-part poetry series entitled “Words Across the Water.” The series brings together poets and writers from across the Anglophone African Diaspora in order to explore intersections of metaphor, style, and themes. SC Humanities supported this programming with a Fast Track Literary Grant.

This series provides a discursive space for poets, writers, thinkers and attendees from different geographies throughout the diaspora to explore connections in and through their work. It will also create a collaborative space where students, young writers and the general public may be able to meet and discuss humanities-based ideas with more seasoned authors.

The first event, on the theme of Identity and Personhood, will feature nationally and internationally noted poets, editors, and academicians, Lauren K. Alleyne of James Madison University and Kwame Dawes of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The program will be moderated by Dr. Frank Martin, the Museum’s director. The event will begin at 5:00 pm on January 21st, 2021 and will be streamed live on Zoom and the Museum’s Facebook page. All members of the general public are invited; please pre-register using this link.

An Associate Professor of English at James Madison University, Alleyne is a native of Trinidad and Tobago who has published extensively in both academic and non-academic journals. She has also authored two books: Difficult Fruit (Peepal Tree Press, 2014) and Honeyfish (New Issues (US) & Peepal Tree (UK), 2019).

Dawes, is currently the Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska, where he is a Chancellor’s Professor of English, a faculty member of Cave Canem (an important organization for the study of African American poetry), and a teacher in the Pacific MFA Program in Oregon. He has published extensively, but his two most recent publications are, City of Bones: A Testament (Northwestern University Press, 2017) and Speak from Here to There (Peepal Tree Press, 2016), a co-written collection of verse with Australian poet John Kinsella.

More details about the other three programs in the series will be available soon.

For more information contact Dr. Alison Mc Letchie at

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 21-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually

Photo by Afonso Lima from FreeImages

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