Born in Wheta, Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast) on March 13, 1935, Kofi Awoonor was educated at Achimota School before attending the University of Ghana. He began writing under the name George Awoonor-Williams, but later changed it to Kofi Awoonor.
His second book of poetry, Night of My Blood (1971), was published while he was working on his M.A. at University College in London. During that period he also wrote several radio plays for the BBC.