Poet and African Poetry Book Fund editorial board member Kwame Dawes spent last week in Ashland, Oregon, where the Ashland Chautauqua Poets & Writers invited him to join an illustrious group of poets who have brought their talents to southern Oregon in the past, including Richard Blanco, Jane Hamilton, Mary Szybist, Barry Lopez, Francine Prose, Ted Kooser, Tobias Wolff, Li-Young Lee, Jane Hirshfield, Robert Pinsky, Naomi Shihab Nye, and many more. While there, Dawes stopped by the local public radio station, Jefferson Public Radio KSOR, as a guest on The Jefferson Exchange. In a wide-ranging interview with host Geoffrey Riley, Dawes discussed the African Poetry Book Fund, his own Pan-African background, letter writing, getting tricked by his friends into becoming a playwright, his Emmy-winning Live Hope Love project, the recent church shootings in South Carolina and the subsequent removal of the Confederate flag from the state’s Capitol building, Marlon James’s Man Booker Prize-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings, the reggae aesthetic, and much more. It’s an excellent interview, and luckily, you can listen to it here. If you like what you hear, you might also enjoy another episode of The Jefferson Exchange, which features an interview with United States Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera. Click here to listen.