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Explore the Craft of Writing American Verse Kwansaba is an African American verse form of praise. The Kwansaba, (swahili kwan - first fruit / saba -principle) was created in 1995 by Eugene B Redmond, East St. Louis Poet Laureate and professor of English at Southern Illinois University-East St. Louis. The form was developed in honor of the celebration of Kwanzaa . The poetic form adopts the number 7 from Kwanzaa's Nguzo Saba (7 principles) as well as embraces its roots in the South African tradition of the Praise Poem. Unity, family Self Determination Work Collectively