An incomparable study of the poetic and political lyrics of Bob Marley, Lyrical Genius also shines a light on one of the most iconic and enigmatic figures of the past century. Not only did Marley popularize reggae music for the world, he expressed the anguish and optimism of the oppressed and exploited in a way that had universal appeal, he always held true to his heritage and religious beliefs, and he influenced generations of musicians, artists and writers. Though his life was tragically cut short by cancer at the age of 36, Marley produced a remarkably large body of work over 20 years – and here author Kwame Dawes examines each classic piece, song by song, assessed in the context of the era and presented as enduring political poetry.
Kwame Dawes was born in Ghana and raised in Jamaica, and he used to see Bob Marley down his street playing soccer or relaxing with friends. Not the reggae superstar or rock legend, but just another familiar face in the neighborhood. “And in such simple and casual ways as those moments of watching men grunting and shouting and laughing around a worn soccer ball,” Dawes writes, “reggae came to me as a way of breathing.”
Personal, perceptive and engaging, Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius makes the perfect companion to the reggae legend’s timeless recordings. As Dawes is also the Founding Editor of the African Poetry Book Fund, he has graciously provided us with a special quantity of this limited-edition book. All profits we receive from its sale will be given directly to the African Poetry Book Fund. 356 pages