Darko Antwi was born in Kumasi in May 1976. After his secondary education at Bekwai SDA, and National Service at Adiembra Junior Secondary School, he embarked on a five-year teaching career in local kindergarten and primary schools.
Antwi is the brain behind the development of the concept of Miss Akoto Education, for Ahenkro Literature Foundation – an NGO in Ghana. As a co-founder and executive member of Ashanti Writers Association, he served as the Administrative Co-ordinator (2000-02) under the patronage of the elite literary veteran, E. K. Kwarteng and Akosua Gyamfua Fofie.
Two of his eventful titles: Cyberfutriphobia and Slogans of Hope have had successful broadcast at native Otec Radio, 1999 and Fox Radio, 2002 respectively. His We Blacks has also been drafted for an anthology to be published by the Ghana Poetry Project.
His epic, Nkrabea, was adapted in 2006 by the Pan African Festival, as part of performances for their annual Emancipation Day. The 137-line historical account is also having a regular reading feature at Britain’s Black History Month events.
His written tribute to the Pan-Africanist, Marcus Garvey, Ayekoo!, is assembled among an archive of memorabilia at the Marcus Garvey Memorial Library, London. In August 2007, during the 120th birthday of Garvey, Ayekoo! appeared in The Voice, Britain’s major black newspaper.
He is now working on District, an electronic magazine for children.
Five Questions with Darko Antwi:
1. How long have you been writing poetry?
I was 18 years when I wrote my first sonnet and a few wretched lines. But I started publication-bound manuscripts in 1998, at 22 years. Counting from the latter age - which I recognise - I have been writing for 11 years.
2. Who are your favourite poets? Which poets have most informed and inspired your work?
Many. So many of them: Donne, Marvell, E.E Cummings, G.K. Chesterton, etc. But Dennis Brutus stands-out as the most inspiring.
3. What do you hope to accomplish with your poetry?
I wish my poetry entertains. To make someone laugh or smile about something strictly silly/funny within a line. I may end-up educating or informing, but I prioritise light humour.
4. You've become a regular critic here at OGOV. What do you think is the role of the critic in the development of Ghanaian poetry?
Once we have come to understand the importance of literary criticism, it brings home how crucial the role of critics is to the development of Ghanaian poetry. In playing his part, the critic should be a laboratory of litmus tests. Theirs is to accomplish excellence by guarding the arts through sound and expert judgement. Analysing a creative work is something I'll feel so much honoured to do - just as much as I enjoy commenting here. Hoping I'll turn professional if I should have the chance to attend University to offer the right course.
5. How has working overseas affected your perspective on your homeland? How has it affected the way you write about it?
Working in practically democratic England has helped me to write a few courtesy poems for some leaders in Ghana who believe in rancour and hostility.