Academy of American Poets
View Cart | Log In 
Subscribe | More Info 
Find a Poet or Poem
Advanced Search >
FURTHER READING
Related Prose
Poetic Form: The Bop
Related Pages
Q&A with Afaa Michael Weaver
External Links
Afaa Michael Weaver
Profile at the African American Literature Book Club site.
East Baltimore Muse
The personal blog of poet Afaa M. Weaver.
Tribute to Lucille Clifton
A tribute to Clifton by Afaa M. Weaver, published in The California Journal of Poetics
Sponsor a Poet Page | Add to Notebook | Email to Friend | Print
Afaa Michael Weaver
Photo credit: Lynda Koolish

Afaa Michael Weaver

In 1951 in Baltimore, Maryland, Afaa Michael Weaver, formerly known as Michael S. Weaver, was born to working class parents. He attended public schools and graduated as a National Merit finalist at the age of sixteen. After two years at the University of Maryland, he entered the world of factory life alongside his father and uncles and remained a factory worker for fifteen years. These years were a literary apprenticeship during which he wrote and published poetry, short fiction, and freelance journalism. During that time he also started 7th Son Press and Blind Alleys, a literary journal.

His first book of poetry, Water Song, was published in 1985 as part of the Callaloo series. He received a NEA fellowship for poetry six months after signing the contract for the collections and left factory life to accept admission into Brown Universityís graduate writing program on a full university fellowship, where he completed the MA with a focus on theater and playwriting. Concurrently, he completed his BA in Literature in English through Excelsior College.

Tess Onwueme, the Nigerian playwright, gave him the Ibo name "Afaa," meaning "oracle," while Dr. Perng Ching-hsi, of National Taiwan University has given him the Chinese name "Wei Yafeng," derived from "Wei" for flourishing or blossoming, and "Yafeng," the title of a section of poems from the Book of Songs, the oldest anthology of Chinese poetry.

Since Water Song, Weaver has published several more collections of poetry, including The Plum Flower Dance: Poems 1985 to 2005 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007); Multitudes; Sandy Point; and The Ten Lights of God, all of which appeared in 2000. His full length play Rosa was produced in 1993 at Venture Theater in Philadelphia under a small-Equity contract. His short fiction appears in Gloria Naylorís Children of the Night and in Maria Gillanís Identity Lessons.

Weaver has been a Pew fellow in poetry and taught in National Taiwan University and Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan as a Fulbright Scholar.

At Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts, he is the Alumnae Professor of English and director of the Zora Neale Hurston Literary Center. In addition, he is Chairman of the Simmons International Chinese Poetry Conference.

Poems by
Afaa Michael Weaver

Flux
Lamentations #1
Mt. Zion Baptist
My Father's Geography
Rambling
The Starlings
Theme For Intermediate Chinese
What Elizabeth Bishop Could Not Know

Prose by
Afaa Michael Weaver

Masters and Master Works: On Black Male Poetics

Want more poetry?
Sign up to receive our
monthly update emails.


Support independent booksellers
Make your purchase online through IndieBound or find a local bookstore on the National Poetry Map.


Larger TypeLarger Type | Home | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy Copyright © 1997 - 2014 by Academy of American Poets.