Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Roger Bonair-Agard  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: in Trinidad

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Illinois Connection

Bonair-Agard lives in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Roger Bonair-Agard is a Cave Canem fellow and two-time National Poetry Slam Champion. He has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and PBS NewsHour. He is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of the LouderARTS Project. The writer-in-residence with Vision Into Art and poet-in-residence with Young Chicago Authors, Bonair-Agard also teaches poetry at the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Facility in Chicago. His book, ''Bury My Clothes'', was a long-list finalist for a National Book Award.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Bury My Clothes
ISBN: 1608462692

Haymarket Books. 2013

Bury My Clothes, a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award for poetry, is a meditation on violence, race, and the place in art at which they intersect. Art—specifically in oppressed communities—is about survival, Roger Bonair-Agard asserts, and establishing personhood in a world that says you have none. Through poetry, we transform both the world of art and the world itself.

Roger Bonair-Agard is a Cave Canem fellow, two-time National Poetry Slam Champion, and author of Tarnish and Masquerade and Gully. He has appeared three times on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and is Co-founder and Artistic Director of the LouderARTS Project in New York.

ISBN: 0981913156

Cypher Books. 2011

Poetry. African American Studies. Roger Bonair-Agard's new book, GULLY, journeys from the subverted sport of English gentlemen to the place where a black man might be swallowed up in the throat of trouble. These poems show us GULLY's trickster position, the source of song, the lurking place on the pitch that requires quick hands. GULLY is metaphor for the subject position of these first-person lyrics filed with a street's athlete's dynamism and energy. GULLY is the site of risk and swagger that swings from cricket bats to the diamond crusted smile of Lil' Wayne.

Tarnish and Masquerade
ISBN: 1892494698

Rattapallax Press. 2007

A veteran of the spoken-word scene, two-time National Slam Champion Roger Bonair-Agard releases his first full length poetry collection with accompanying CD full of spellbinding performances. These poems chart an exile'ss coming-of-age mirroring the increasingly relevant immigrant'ss experience. Whether set in Trinidad, Washington Heights, Texas, Brooklyn or other locales, Bonair-Agard'ss poems contain words of clarity, compassion and unsentimentality, written (and spoken) with equal parts joy and fury.

Burning Down the House : Selected Poems from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe's National Poetry Slam Champions
ISBN: 1887128484

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2003

The Nuyorican Poet's Cafe 1998 national poetry slam championship team is five dynamic, important new voices, who uphold the tradition of social commentary and political poetry.
They bridge the gap between academic verse and the spoken word, between the be-bop Beats and hip hop beats. These five poets weave together gripping storytelling, soul-searching explorations of identity, and cutting edge political commentary. They rant, they rave, they reflect, they reminisce.
The metaphors sparkle and the rhyme schemes flow. The seeds of the next great social transformation are buried between the the pages of this book. The next Revolution will be a poem.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)