Foundation series

The African Poetry Book Fund receives a grant from the Poetry Foundation

Kwame Dawes says, “APBF’s main goal is to find ways to advance African poetry in the world, and one of the essential ways to do this effectively is to appreciate the complex and multifaceted ways in which poetry and publication of poetry are taking place. The state of poetry in the world is the business of book distribution, and this is especially critical in a continent like Africa, made up of so many different nation-states with quite distinct trade, distribution, and pricing laws, and just as many approaches to book distribution and sale, especially when it comes to poetry. If all we can do is have a more informed understanding of the state of poetry book distribution in Africa, we would have made a significant breakthrough in the work of promoting poetry on the continent. We expect to do more than that, and are grateful for the insight and sophistication shown by the Poetry Foundation in recognizing the critical need that the grant will address. »

The APBF promotes and advances the development and publication of the poetic arts through its series of books, competitions, workshops and seminars and through its collaborations with publishers, festivals, booking agents, colleges, universities, conferences and all other entities that share an interest in African poetry. For ten years, the visionary projects of the APBF include poetry prize, book publishing, digital humanities research, create local poetry librariesand much more.

Since its inception, the APBF has been seriously committed to developing a strong publishing program in United Statesand secondarily, to ensure that the work we publish is accessible to readers throughout Africa. APBF publications include the New Generation African Poets Chapbook Box Set Seriesproduced in collaboration with Akashic Books, as well as poetry collections and unabridged anthologies under the African Poetry Book Seriespublished in collaboration with the University of Nebraska Hurry.

The African Poetry Book Distribution Project seeks to better understand the state of poetry book distribution on the African continent. Ultimately, this project will help APBF define its role in building and maintaining long-term partnerships with existing African book publishers and distributors and ensuring the availability of its titles internationally.

The three-year grant, which is expected to begin in the summer of 2022, will fund a team of researchers led by Dr. Dawes. Implementing a strong distribution strategy based on existing bookseller networks, international trade and tariff laws, venues and literary programming will expand the availability of APBF titles on the continent, serving authors of APBF and African readers.

The Poetry Foundation is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence of poetry in American culture. It seeks to be a leader in creating a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues of dissemination, and encouraging new types of poetry through innovative literary awards and programs. For more information, visit

It is not the APBF nor Kwame Dawes’ first collaboration with the Poetry Foundation. Beyond the publication of poems in Poetry, Kwame Dawes was a regular contributor to Harriet, having written more than 120 articles on the Poetry Foundation blog. Additionally, the first New Generation African Poets Chapbooks box set was published by APBF and Slapering Hol Press in association with the Poetry Foundation. Poets in the World Series.

SOURCE Poetry Foundation