Michael Harper was born in 1938 in Brooklyn, New York. He is the author of more than a dozen poetry collections, including History is Your Heartbeat (1971), winner of the Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Poetry; Images of Kin (1977), winner of the Melville Cane Award from the Poetry Society of America; and, most recently, Use Trouble (2009). His other honors include the Robert Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Harper served as the first Poet Laureate of Rhode Island from 1988 to 1993, and was a professor of English at Brown University for over 40 years. Harper died in 2016.
Audio Recordings with Michael Harper
- Michael Harper reading his poems with comment in the Recording Laboratory, Mar. 30, 1971
- Edward Field and Michael S. Harper reading and discussing their poems in the Coolidge Auditorium, Mar. 31, 1975
- Readings in Afro-American poetry: Gwendolyn Brooks, Michael S. Harper, and Robert Hayden reading their own poems and those of other Afro-American poets in the Coolidge Auditorium, Feb. 23, 1976