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Wisteria - Twilight Poems from the Swamp Country

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 21 October 2007

Wisteria - Twilight Poems from the Swamp Country

When poet Kwame Dawes, who was born in Ghana and grew up in Jamaica, moved to Sumter in South Carolina, he recorded interviews with older black people he met, who told him about their lives in the era of segregation. From these recollections, Dawes wrote a collection of poems, Wisteria, which New Orleans composer Kevin Simmonds set to music for an ensemble of 14 black classical musicians.

Using this music, the original interviews, readings of the poems, and conversations and sounds newly recorded in Sumter, this is a poetic reflection on, and a historical account for radio of, the lives of black people in the South after slavery and before Civil Rights.


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