Michael Warr

His poetry is frank and full-bodied. Michael has a sharp eye and a sanity that refuses to make compromises. – Gwendolyn Brooks

I don’t think you need me to tell you that these poems are the real thing, brilliant in language and imagination, never a nerveless line, they move in both senses, of their own music and of the heart. But I am telling you anyway. – Adrienne Rich

San Francisco poet Michael Warr is the 2020 Berkeley Lifetime Achievement Awardee and Poetry Editor of the anthology Of Poetry & Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin (W.W. Norton). His books of poetry include The Armageddon of Funk (which the Black Caucus of the American Library Association described as “A poetic soundtrack to black life.”), Power Lines: A Decade of Poetry From Chicago’s Guild Complex, as a co-editor with Julie Parson Nesbitt and Luis Rodriguez, and We Are All The Black Boy all published by Tia Chucha Press. He co-edited the bilingual chapbook Catching Memory with poet and translator Chun Yu. Catching Memory features poems and short stories in English and Chinese that evolved out of Warr and Yu’s “Two Languages / One Community” workshop series. In 2017 he was named a San Francisco Library Laureate. Other honors include a Creative Work Fund award for his multimedia project project Tracing Poetic Memory in Bayview Hunters Point, PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature, Black Caucus of the American Library Association Award, Gwendolyn Brooks Significant Illinois Poets Award, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Ragdale Foundation US - Africa Fellowship, The Beat Museum Poet of the Month, and other honors. His poetry in collaboration with musicians, visual and performing artists, has been dramatized on stage, depicted on canvas, and set to original music. Michael is the former Deputy Director of the Museum of the African Diaspora and has extensive experience in community-based arts. He is a board member of the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

For updates on his poetry travels see his tumblr. For work in Chinese and English and bilingual writing workshops go to: Two Languages / One Community. Also follow Of Poetry and Protest and The Armageddon of Funk for poetry community posts. His book Of Poetry & Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin is now available online at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) by clicking here.