Marcus Amaker

Author archive

Inner twined

(commissioned for the Gibbes Museum and Charleston Jazz’ Art of Jazz series. Written specifically about the Betwixt and Between exhibit) You don’t have to look far for signs of connection. floor to ceiling strands of shared air, or sidewalk to sun oxygen, binding our breathing. trees are made up of the tightened tension of sticks […]

Commencement speech for the Arts Institute of Charleston

The fine folks at the Arts Institute of Charleston asked me to be the commencement speaker for the 2018 graduating class. I’ve never done that before, so it was an honor to grace the stage and meet the scholars. I'm about to do the commencement speech for the graduates of @AiCharleston at @CHSMusicHall. Number of […]

Walter Edgar’s Journal, SC Public Radio

Walter Edgar’s Journal. Now there’s a name that is familiar with a lot people in South Carolina. I’ve listened to his shows for a long time and never really considered the fact that I would have a chance to be on it! Well. Here I am: http://southcarolinapublicradio.org/post/peace-voices After this appearance, I received A LOT of […]

Movement’s mother

(inspired by Septima Clark, on what would have been her 120th birthday. Written for the dedication of her historical marker) I. There are spirits among us – ghosts of grassroots movements echoing through our soil. Charleston’s poinsettia was a warrior woman who blossomed despite an unholy city’s unsettled winds. She was light through dark matter, […]

The resolution of wings

(dedicated to the Butterly Book Nook) Here is the place where a community blossoms. Where hope still finds the right amount of air to rise, to spread its wings, defiantly, in the deflating aftermath of a tragedy that grounded us. Here is the place where we will no longer be cocooned in sadness because our […]

Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, mother of Phife (ATCQ)

Friends, this is Cheryl Boyce-Taylor. She’s the mother of Phife (Malik Taylor), from A Tribe Called Quest. A. TRIBE. CALLED. QUEST. One of the first things I *ever* wrote was a rap based on one of Phife’s verses, in 1991. It’s because of Tribe that I sharpened my writing skills. It’s because of Tribe that […]

The genius of Ani DiFranco

In honor of National Poetry Month, the most impactful poet I’ve ever read is Ani DiFranco. Her wordplay, politics, art direction and DIY ethic have been HIGHLY influential on my work. Some examples of the lyrical genius::: “More and more there is this animal looking out through my eyes at all the wires in the […]

empath (bones)

(a poem about lynchings) If the Angel Oak tree could talk, she’d tell us stories we don’t want to hear. Her family has been roped into being the backdrop of racism’s roots, her friends had no choice but to stand, stoic through storms that bore strange fruit. She’d tell you about the relentless weight of […]

Photos from recent school visits / workshops

(this is my life’s work. So proud to be able to visit schools and show students that poetry is alive).

New issue of No Depression on stands now

Here are some pics of the latest issue that I designed. I’m proud of this work! Click here to order a copy.