Marcus Amaker

Marcus Amaker was named Charleston, SC’s first Poet Laureate in 2016. In 2021, he became an Academy of American Poets fellow. He’s also the award-winning graphic designer of a national music journal (No Depression), an electronic musicianthe creator of a poetry festival, and a mentor.

His poetry has been recognized by The Kennedy CenterAmerican Poets Magazine, The Washington National OperaThe Portland OperaButton PoetryNPR,  The Chicago TribuneEdutopia, Washington Post, Departures Magazine, People’s WorldPBS NewshourSC Public Radio, Charleston Magazine, Charleston City PaperNorth Dakota Quarterly, Post and Courier, Charleston Scene and several other publications.

In 2019, he won a Governor’s Arts award in South Carolina, and was named the artist-in-residence of the Gaillard Center, a world-renowned performance and education venue.

His poetry has been studied in classrooms around the country, and has been interpreted for ballet, jazz, modern dance, opera and theater. Marcus has recorded three albums with Grammy Award winning drummer and producer Quentin E. Baxter.

His ninth book is Black Music Is, from Free Verse Press.