Marcus Amaker, Charleston’s first-ever Poet Laureate, will return to CLS for an exclusive reading from his new book, Hold What Makes You Whole—a 200-page, full-color compilation of 70 poems released on April 4. After the reading, the author will discuss the inspiration and process behind this recent collection, followed by a book signing during which copies will be available for purchase and personalization.
Opening for Marcus is Alexandra Peters, a rising star poet in her own right. Together, this lineup makes for an evening of unparalleled, can’t-miss creativity and culture.
Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for guests.
To purchase before they sell out, click here or call 843.723.9912.
About Marcus Amaker
Marcus Amaker (he/him) takes daily naps and is a husband, a dad, a son, a musician, an opera librettist, and a Star Wars obsessive. He served as the first Poet Laureate of Charleston, South Carolina, from 2016—22. In 2021, he became an Academy of American Poets fellow. He’s also a prolific performer, the award-winning graphic designer of a roots music journal (No Depression), a musician, an opera librettist, the creator of a poetry festival, a teaching artist, and an advocate for youth poets.
His work has been recognized by The Washington Post, The Kennedy Center, American Poets Magazine, Chicago Opera Theater, The Portland Opera, Button Poetry, NPR, The Chicago Tribune, Edutopia, Town & Country, PBS NewsHour, South Carolina Public Radio, Charleston Magazine, Charleston City Paper, Post & Courier, and more. In 2019, he received a Governor’s Arts award in South Carolina and was named the artist-in-residence of the Gaillard Center, a world-renowned performance and education venue.
His poetry was used by the Washington National Opera for its Presidential Inauguration Day Concert in 2021, and has been studied in classrooms around the country.
In addition to more than 35 electronic music albums, Marcus has recorded three albums with Grammy Award–winning drummer and producer Quentin E. Baxter. His poem “The Rain” is on two Grammy-nominated recordings.
Marcus also created a publishing company to release poetry books and host events for poets in his community. June 3, 2021, was named “Marcus Amaker Day” by John Tecklenburg, mayor of Charleston.
He lives in North Charleston, SC, with his wife, their daughter, and a cat named after Wu-Tang Clan. Marcus is currently writing an opera with Gillian Rae Perry as part of Chicago Opera Theater’s Vanguard Initiative. His tenth book, Hold What Makes You Whole, was released on April 4.
About Alexandra Peters
A self-taught poet with roots in both Miami, Florida, and Charleston, Alexandra displayed a passion for poetry at a very young age—a spark ignited after she read Dr. Seuss books and discovered words can rhyme. As she grew, poetry became one of her favorite creative outlets to express and work through her feelings, thoughts, and viewpoints on herself, life, history, and current events. This passion led her to become part of the University of Central Florida‘s first spoken Word club in 2013: Project S.P.I.T. (Student Poetry Initiating Thought). She went on to become Vice President in 2017. Since graduating, she has found comfort and opportunities to grow in Charleston‘s poetry community, most notably placing third in the inaugural Free Verse Poetry Festival Slam and being a feature poet in one of the 2022 events: Collective Truths. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys collecting vinyl records, playing her saxophone, writing songs, and supporting live, local bands.