Kwame Opoku-Duku is a Ghanaian-American poet and fiction writer. Along with the poet Karisma Price, he is a founding member of the New York City-based Unbnd Collective, whose mission includes creating a reading series and leading workshops to help connect writers of color with their communities. For Kwame, writing in both genres has enabled him to see poems grow out of stories, and stories grow from poems, and he doesn’t see any need to choose between the two. Fiction allows him a broader scope, and poetry allows for a more abstract perspective, but they both explore and interrogate the same obsessions: love, family, spirituality, and the ways black bodies navigate the world.
Kwame’s debut chapbook, The Unbnd Verses, will be released in October by Glass Poetry Press, and his work is featured or forthcoming in BOMB, Massachusetts Review, The Adroit Journal, Bettering American Poetry, BOAAT, The Literary Review, and elsewhere.
When he’s not writing, Kwame is probably reading, eating, watching a movie, on Twitter, or listening to music, and there is a chance he is stuck on the subway. Some of his favorite things to read lately have been The BreakBeat Poets Volume 2: Black Girl Magic, Tommy Orange’s There, There, Terrance Hayes’ American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, Jamel Brinkley’s A Lucky Man, Adeeba Shahid Talukder’s What Is Not Beautiful, and Beast Meridian by Vanessa Angélica Villarreal. Some of his favorite foods to eat are dirty rice, jollof rice, chickpeas, salmon, chopped cheese sandwiches, Takis, cake, and ice cream. Kwame often dances and hums while he eats. He’s either listening to Kamasi Washington right now, or Drake.
Being a New York City-based writer means that Kwame has met and befriended some of the most exciting poets and fiction writers along the way, either through Columbia University or out in the world, and he’s extremely grateful for the inspiration and friendship of Karisma Price, Tova Benjamin, Devin Gael Kelly, Katie Barasch, Lily Blacksell, Matthew Gellman, Mina Fears, Donovan Redd, and so many others who are setting the literary world aflame with their brilliance, and he hopes you will check out their work and love it as much as he does.
Kwame is a Virgo, and currently lives in Harlem, in a fifth-floor walkup. He’s a fiction mentor for The Adroit Journal, and is currently nominated for Best New Poets 2018 and a Pushcart Prize.
- “lord knows”
- “The Woman’s Dress for Success Book, 1978”
- “Two Poems”
- “Song about Another Man’s Kid”
- “By the Morning, I Was Cured”