Roger Bonair-Agard

Writer-in-Residence

About:

Roger Bonair-Agard is an acclaimed poet and lead vocalist for the musical collective Miyamoto is Black Enough. Bonair-Agard was born in Trinidad and Tobago and moved to the United States in 1987. His collections of poetry include Tarnish and Masquerade (2006); Gully (2010); and Bury My Clothes (2013), which was a long-list finalist for a National Book Award, and Where Brooklyn At?! (Willow Books/Aquarius Press, 2016). He contributed to the collection Burning Down the House (2000), a selection of poems from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. He is a two-time National Poetry Slam champion and has appeared on programs such as HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and the PBS NewsHour, among others. A former Cave Canem fellow, Bonair-Agard performs his work and leads workshops internationally. He has been a writer-in-residence with Vision Into Art and a poet-in-residence with Young Chicago Authors. He is the cofounder and artistic director of the louderARTS Project in NYC and teaches poetry at the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Facility in Chicago. 

Project:

Music and the Baldwin Protocols is an Instagram TV series hosted by Roger Bonair-Agard. 

Inspired by his Baldwin Protocol reading series, Bonair-Agard’s residency at National Sawdust draws from James Baldwin’s legacy of scholarship and facility with conversation to feature discussions about how racial justice and human dignity are manifested in a variety of musical forms including classical western music, new music, and opera. 

In the artist’s words:

James Baldwin’s legacy of scholarship includes a facility with critical conversation audited by the community it serves. Music and the Baldwin Protocols is inspired by his relationships and collaborations with the entertainers of his time and the intersections of their work with the social justice issues.