Kofi  Awoonor (Ghana)


Rediscovery and Other Poems, Ibadan: Mbari,1964

Night of my Blood, (poetry) Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1971

This Earth, My Brother, (novel) Doubleday, 1971, Heinemann, 1972

Ride me, memory, (poetry) Greenfield Review, 1973

The Breast of the Earth, Garden City, N.Y.L Anchor, 1975

The House by the Sea, (poetry) Greenfield Review, 1978

The Ghana Revolution: A Background Account from a Personal Perspective, N.Y., Oases, 1984

Until the Morning After, (poetry) Greenfield Review, 1987

Ghana : A political History from Pre-European to Modern Times, Accra: Sedco/ Woeli, 1990

Comes the Voyager at Last, (novel) Africa World Press, 1992

Latin American & Caribbean Notebook I, (poetry) Africa World Press, 1992

Africa : The Marginalised Continent , Accra: Woeli, 1995

Herding the Lost Lamb, (poetry) 2002



Kofi Awoonor, poet, novelist and critic, was born in Wheta , Ghana , where his earliest poetic influences came from his grandmother, who was a dirge-singer. Much of his early work expresses this oral form in the common dirge motif of the ‘thwarted or painful return' which he explores in the broader context of the alienation of the Western-educated African. Awoonor went into exile after the first Ghanaian President, Kwame Nkrumah, was ousted by a coup in 1966. In this time, he completed a Ph.D in Literature at the State University of New York. His dissertation was later published as The Breast of the Earth: a survey of the history, culture and literature of Africa south of the Sahara (1975). In December 1975, while teaching at Cape Coast University, he was arrested and held on suspicion of involvement in a military coup, an experience he recounts in the publications The House by the Sea (1978) and Until the Morning After (1987).

He was appointed Ghana's ambassador to Brazil in 1985 and Cuba in 1989. From 1990 to 1994 Awoonor was Ghana 's Permanent Representative and Ambassador to the United Nations in New York . Whilst at the UN Kofi Awoonor was Chairman of the Committee on Implementation of UN Resolutions Against Apartheid. Among his many accolades, he is a recipient of the National Book Council Award for poetry (2001) and served as President of the African Literature Association (1998-1999). Apart from his fictional work, Awoonor is a respected and prolific analyst on issues relating to African and global politics.

Time of the Writer festival:
22-27 March 2004
Centre for Creative Arts, University of KwaZulu-Natal