Michael S. Harper, University Professor Emeritus of Literary Arts
Poet Michael S. Harper's titles included I Do Believe in People: Remembrances of Walter Warren Harper (1915-2004); Dear John, Dear Coltrane; Debridement; Healing Song for the Inner Ear; History is Your Own Heartbeat; Honorable Amendments; Images of Kin; Nightmare Begins Responsibility and Songlines in Michaeltree: New and Collected Poems. He edited Chant of Saints with Robert B. Stepto and with Anthony Walton, Every Shut Eye Ain't Asleep and The Vintage Book of African American Poetry. Harper, the first State Poet of Rhode Island, was a university professor, a New York Library Literary Lion, a Phi Beta Kappa scholar and an American Academy of Arts and Sciences fellow. He was the recipient of many distinctions, including the Robert Hayden Poetry Award from the United Negro College Fund, the Melville-Cane Award and the Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award. Michael Harper taught at Brown from 1970 to 2013; he died in May 2016.