Marcus Amaker

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Poet Laureate of Charleston, South Carolina, 2016–2022

Marcus Amaker is a poet, recording artist, and mentor. He is the author of nine books of poetry, most recently Hold What Makes You Whole (Free Verse Press, 2023) and 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, National Public Radio (NPR), and other organizations.

Amaker 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 at 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.