Michael Adams published his first poem in a high school literary journal in 1966.
He is the author of six books of poetry and essays that are still in print, including If You Can Still Dance With It(Turkey Buzzard Press, 2012) Steel Valley (Lummox Press, 2010), Whistleblowers (Turkey Buzzard Press 2009), Broken Hand Peak (Turkey Buzzard Press, 2008) Underground (Longhand Press, 2007) and Between Heaven and Earth (Elik Press, 2004). His most recent manuscript, still untitled, will be published by LUMMOX Press in 2014 and will consist of new poems written between 2010 and 2013. Stay tuned for details It’ll be hot.
Michael grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood in the heart of the Steel Valley just south of Pittsburgh, PA, and at that time one of the most heavily industrialized areas in the world. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a Master’s degree in planning, both from the University of Pittsburgh. Michael has been a steel worker, urban planner, mountaineering guide, teacher, and natural resource manager. His diverse work experience and upbringing have given him a lifelong passion for issues of social, economic, and environmental justice and a love for the natural world
He attended the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in 1988-1989. Michael’s poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in numerous journals, magazines and anthologies, including The Pedestal, PoLarity, The Midwest Quarterly, Pilgrimage, Mad Blood, Hunger and Thirst, and Desert Shovel. Michael is an accomplished musician and banjo player who sometimes melds his poetry and music. He has performed on radio and television across the country, either alone or as part of the poetry group The Free Radical Railroad. He is the winner of the 2007 Mark Fischer Poetry Prize.
Michael is very active in poetry and the arts, both locally and regionally. He is the chair of the Lafayette, CO Cultural Arts Commission, which has been instrumental in making the visual and literary arts accessible and available to school children, local artists, the disadvantaged and the community at large. He is a Guest Artist with Art From Ashes, a Denver-based non-profit whose mission is to serve and empower struggling youth.
In July of 2011 Michael was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the blood and bone marrow. He has struggled with the disease for over two years but lives his life as well as he can, remaining both physically active and active in community affairs. He intends to be fully engaged in life as long as he can and has no plans to check out for a good long time. And when his time comes he’ll go down fighting and will not “go gentle into that goodnight.”