Mr. Afaa M. Weaver

Massachusetts, United States

Member Since: 05/02/2012

Afaa Michael Weaver (Michael S. Weaver) is a native of Baltimore, Maryland.  After entering the University of Maryland at 16 years of age in 1968, he left in 1970 and entered the blue collar world of factory work in Baltimore.  He spent 15 years as a factory worker (1 year at Bethlehem Steel and 14 years at Procter & Gamble), a period he refers to as his literary apprenticeship.  Weaver also joined the military in 1970 as an army reservist and served in the 342nd Army Security Agency under Captain Glyndon Huntington. As a result of the writing and publishing he did during those 15 years, he secured a contract for his first book, Water Song, in the Callaloo series at the University of Virginia under Charles Rowell (editor of Norton's Angles of Ascent) and won an NEA fellowship while still in the factory.  Upon receipt of the NEA he left factory life and was accepted in the graduate writing program at Brown University.  While at Brown Weaver completed his bachelor's degree in 1986 through the external degree program at the University of the State of New York. In 1987, his graduate thesis at Brown was a full length play entitled "Rosa," which was produced professionally in 1993 at Venture Theatre in Philadelphia.  After teaching at Essex Community College, Brooklyn College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Seton Hall Law School, and New York University, Weaver was hired at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey, where he received tenure with distinction in 1995 as an early candidate.  In 1998 he accepted an endowed chair at Simmons College as the Alumnae Professor of English.  In 2002 he was awarded a Fulbright to teach at National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan, and subsequently continued his work with Chinese culture by convening international conferences on contemporary Chinese poetry at Simmons.  Weaver has received the gold friendship medal from the Chinese Writers' Association in Beijing, a Pew fellowship, the May Sarton Award, and two Pushcart prizes, among other honors. His 12th collection of poetry is The Government of Nature (U Pittsburgh 2013), winner of the 2014 Kingsley Tufts Award.  A chapbook entitled "A Hard Summation" is due from Central Square Press in summer, 2014.  In the fall of 2014, U Pitt Press will publish "City of Eternal Spring," the sequel to The Government of Nature, and the completion of the trilogy that began with The Plum Flower Dance.  Weaver lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.  His papers are held in the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University.  Photo Credits:  B&W photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths.  Color photo by Catherine Laine 


Twitter Username: @Afaa_Weaver

Genres of Interest

Creative nonfiction, Playwriting, Poetry