Marcus Amaker

Author archive

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, […]

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. 

empath (variations) – electronic music + spoken word

I can honestly say this is the electronic album I was born to make. Why? Because, finally, I feel like everything came together much better than any other of my solo releases. empath (variations) feels … complete. Everything I’ve learned about music production, design, publishing, mastering, song structure, looping and more is all here. I […]

Photos from the empath book tour

The tour is going well! Here’s some photos from Columbia, Sumter and Greenville. Audiences have been great and I’ve connected with a lot of wonderful souls. More coming …

I opened up for Tracy K. Smith, Poet Laureate of the UNITED STATES

I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE IT. Tracy K. Smith, the poet laureate of the US, is on a tour of small towns. She made her way to Adams Run, SC, and I was asked to read poetry before her performance. I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE IT. So, yes, Marjory and I were the special guests for Tracy. […]

Electronic music, in my backyard

it’s totally normal to play meditative electronic music in your backyard, right? open is a 21-minute collage of music, recorded live. It’s a warmup for a full-length release, later this year. gear used: Elektron Digitakt, Moog DFAM, Teenage Engineering’s OP-1, Folktek Nano Garden, Teenage Engineering’s PO-16. the free download is here: https://tapeloop.bandcamp.com/album/open-2018 and the video: