Darko Antwi was born in Kumasi in May 1976. After his secondary education at Bekwai Seventh Day Adventist, he taught in local kindergarten and primary schools from 1997 - 2002. He served as a columnist for African Echo newspaper from 2007 until 2009.
In 2000 Antwi co-founded Ashanti Writers Association. Eight years later, he developed the concept of Miss Akoto Education for the Ahenkro Literature Foundation, a charitable organization founded in honour of his great uncle.
During the Emancipation Day 2006 at Cape Coast, Antwi’s epic, Nkrabea, was adapted for recitation. Two of his eventful titles, Cyberfutriphobia and Slogans of Hope, have had successful broadcast at native radio stations. In August 2007, Ayekoo! appeared in The Voice, Britain’s major black newspaper. Since its first publication, Ayekoo! has been assembled among a cabinet of honorarium at Marcus Garvey Library, London.
Two of Antwi's poems have recently been published at Phillis Wheatley Chapter.
Five Questions with Darko Antwi:
1. This is your second poem of yours featured on our site. The first, "Apology to Witches" was highly structured (in couplets, with a refrain). This one is less so, and yet (with the exception of one line) it is still regimented into five-line stanzas. What is it that draws you to such formal devices? Is there something about the appearance of physical unity on the page that is attractive to you?
Yeah, trying my hand on even stanzas has more to do with physical unity. I find it attractive, and helpful for memorising. However I try not to restrict all my poems under its coop. I do some 'free-range' as well, where need be.
2. Of your last poem, Adjei Agyei-Baah noted that he was drawn to the poem "because it's not meant for relaxation, but instead is meant to cause people to change their ways in order to see the change that they have long been looking for." It could be argued that a similar assessment could be made of "The burial of Saint Domeabra". Do you agree with such an assessment of your work? Is "relaxation" one or your aims, even if not a primary one?
I remember... I thought well of Adjei Agyei-Baah's remarks on the previous title. If the same is to be said of the latest, I would agree, although I had meant it for readers to have a mixture of feelings. Thus, upon all the seriousness, I wish a reader would pause somewhere along the lines and have a laugh. So, in a sense, 'relaxation' is one of my aims - just that it may not or can not be achievable in every single poem, with respect to the readers' judgement.
3. You noted in your last profile that Dennis Brutus was the poet who most inspired your own writing. What is it that draws you so strongly to him - his writing, his politics, or both?
I'm glad you've mentioned Brutus. I wish I knew, but I know very little about his political life, all hinted by courtesy of tales in his writing. To put it open, I have to say that I'm not particularly drawn by his political whips, endeavours or escapades - however much I may have known by now. Even if we reduce the incidents in his writings to fiction or term his reports as untrue, I will still be left with a 'stubborn' faith in his energertic drive for the use of words. He uses them freely and persuasively.
4. You have started a new online magazine called Phillis Wheatley Chapter. What drew you to using that title?
I wanted a name that would immediately sound the bells of poetry in peoples ears. And symbolic Phillis Wheatley was the only name that could do the job of attracting readers from all the continents we're reaching out to.
5. Could you tell us more about PWC, and how our readers can become involved?
First of all, may I acknowledge that PWC drew its inspiration from OGOV, Ghanaian Book Review and Akwantuo. PWC's purpose is to promote poetry reading and its sales across the continents. And for that reason all readers of our mother magazine, OGOV, can share their ideas or comments on PWC poetry by joining us on Facebook.