Visiting Writer: Afaa Michael Weaver

Afaa Michael Weaver (born Michael Schan Weaver, 1951) is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, beginning with Water Song (U Virginia 1985) which was published in the Callaloo poetry series by Charles H. Rowell. Afaa received the 2014 Kingsley Tufts Award for The Government of Nature (U Pitt 2013), the second book in his Plum Flower Trilogy, which began with The Plum Flower Dance (U Pitt 2007) and concludes with City of Eternal Spring (U Pitt 2014). His other poetry awards include four Pushcart prizes, inclusion in Best American Poetry (2014, 2015), The May Sarton Award (2008), the Gold Friendship Medal (2005) from the Beijing Writers’ Association, an appointment as a Fulbright scholar (2002) to teach at National Taiwan University, and a Pew (1998) fellowship. As a playwright, he has had two plays produced professionally. Rosa was produced as small­ equity at Venture Theater in Philadelphia in 1993, and also in 1993, he won the PDI award in playwriting from the ETA Creative Arts Foundation in Chicago for his play Elvira and the Lost Prince.

His B.A. (1986) is from the University of the State of New York and his M.A. (1987) is from Brown University. He teaches at Simmons College and in Drew University’s MFA program in poetry and translation. Afaa was the first African American poet to serve as Poet in Residence (1997) at Bucknell University’s Stadler Center. He was first faculty at Cave Canem in 1997, and in 1998, he was named the first Elder of the Cave Canem organization. Afaa’s works have been translated into Arabic (Like the Wind, translated by Wissal Al­Allaq) and Chinese. Afaa has intermediate level fluency in Mandarin. His websites are: www.afaaweaver.net and plumflowertrilogy.org