Afaa Michael Weaver reads as part of the Global Voices Reading Series
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 11 a.m. Campus Center 3545: Afaa Michael Weaver was born Michael S. Weaver and grew up in East Baltimore, the son of a beautician and a steelworker. He entered the University of Maryland–College Park at the age of 16 and studied engineering for two years. He then joined the Army Reserves and worked alongside his father at the Bethlehem Steel mill. Weaver worked at the mill and, later, a factory for a total of 15 years, writing poetry on coffee breaks, before publishing his first collection, Water Song (1985). He then earned an MA in theater and playwriting from Brown University, concurrent with a BA from Excelsior College. Weaver’s collections of poetry include The Plum Flower Dance: Poems 1985 to 2005 (2007). He edited the anthology These Hands I Know: African-American Writers on Family (2002), and co-edited Gathering Voices (1985) with James Taylor and David Beaudouin. Weaver has been awarded a Pushcart Prize and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He was a Poet-in-Residence at Bucknell University’s Stadler Center and taught as a Fulbright Fellow at National Taiwan University. He has taught at Rutgers University, Cave Canem, and Simmons College, where he co-founded the Zora Neale Hurston Literary Center and launched the International Chinese Poetry Conference. In 1999, he was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. He is the Senior Distinguished Poet in the Graduate Writing Program at NYU.
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