Marcus Amaker is a poet, recording artist, and mentor. He is the author of eight books of poetry, most recently The Birth of All Things (Free Verse Press, 2020). The first Poet Laureate of Charleston, South Carolina, Amaker’s poetry has been interpreted for ballet, jazz, modern dance, opera and theater, and has been recognized by the Kennedy Center, The Washington National Opera, The Portland Opera, Button Poetry, NPR, and others. He is the winner of a South Carolina Governor’s Award, and is the award-winning graphic designer of the national music journal No Depression. He is a 2019 artist-in-residence of the Gaillard Center and the creator of the Free Verse poetry festival. In 2021, he received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship. He lives in Charleston.
In 2021, Marcus Amaker was named an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. Amaker was awarded the Academy of American Poets Poet Laureate Fellowship for his Poets in Schools program, which pairs a poet with a South Carolina school. The poets worked with students to create and publish an anthology of their poems. His fellowship project will support the poets for their time in the schools and their lesson-planning, as well as allow for the free distribution of the published anthology to participating schools.