Wisteria: Twilight Songs from the Swamp Country, was a finalist for the 2007 Paterson Prize. These poems are written in the voice of elderly African American women from South Carolina who Dawes interviewed in 1995.
The poems explore the world of Jim Crow South and show the power and resilience in these women who survived in that world and found a capacity to thrive. These are difficult poems, challenging poems and poems that ultimately show Dawes at his most lyrical.
Wisteria was recently noted in the New York Times as a best selling collection among poetry books published by independent presses.