“Simply put, he is the Renaissance man of Charleston” – Art Mag.

The hard questions.

Q. What is your favorite Prince album?
A. Sign ‘O’ The Times is probably his best album. But I also love LotusFlow3r. And The Love Symbol Album. And Lovesexy. And ARTOFFICIALAGE. And Parade. And …

Q. What is your favorite Star Wars movie?
A. Return of the Jedi is so good. That hallway scene with Darth Vader and Luke? When Darth admits “It’s too late for me, son.” GIVES ME CHILLS. But, still. I love Empire Strikes Back. And The Force Awakens. And Revenge of the Sith. And …

Q. Who is your favorite artist?
A. JONI MITCHELL. The best painter and songwriter of all time. Hejira is a master work.

Q. What is the best television show of all time?

Q. Name a few things that you can’t resist …
A. Good headphones. Drum machines. Journals. Talking about Prince. The San Antonio Spurs. Vinyl Me, Please. Biking. Anything made by Teenage Engineering.

Q. What are you most passionate about?
A. My music. I also love leading poetry workshops for kids. Honestly, though, the high I receive from creating music is unmatched.

When I grow up, I want to be a rock star like Prince. – (me, at 10 years old.)

The bio

Marcus Amaker is Charleston, South Carolina’s first poet laureate, an award-winning graphic designer, musician, videographer and web designer. 

In 2019, he was named the Gaillard Center’s artist-in-residence. Also in 2019, he received the prestigious Fresh Voices in the Humanities award.

He’s published seven poetry books and has been mentioned in The New York Times as well as been featured on TEDxCharleston, PBS Newshour, the A&E network, the Huffington Post, Alaska Beyond Magazine, SC Public Radio, North Dakota Quarterly, Fare Magazine and many local media outlets.

As a musician, he’s created more than 30 electronic music albums. His 2018 project, empath, is a collaboration with Grammy-nominated producer Quentin E. Baxter of Ranky Tanky.

As poet laureate, Marcus visits many schools to conduct poetry workshops and to inspire students to write. Area schools have started poetry clubs after his visits. He also created Charleston’s first poetry festival, Free Verse.

As a journalist, Marcus helped to create Charleston Scene, a weekly entertainment section for Charleston’s SC’s daily newspaper, the Post and Courier. He is currently the lead graphic designer for the national music journal, No Depression.

Charleston Business Magazine named him one of Charleston’s 50 Most influential people in 2016.

His wife, Jordan Amaker, is an activist and marketing director of Lowcountry Local First.

photos by Alice Keeney.