Hold What Makes You Whole

Marcus Amaker ,

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Hold What Makes You Whole

About the eBook

Rest like the sun does:

Schedule some time

to stay out of sight

when too many people

praise warm energy ...


Poet Laureate Marcus Amaker's (he/him) tenth book, Hold What Makes You Whole, is a pocket-sized full-color collection of new and selected works from an award-winning opera librettist, musician, and graphic designer.

Hold What Makes You Whole is a 200-page compilation of jazz, Blackness, self care, fatherhood, Star Wars, social justice, music, and memory. Along with the audiobook and e-book, the Hold project also features short films, two full-length albums, and an interactive website.

On the cover of the book is Amaker's great-great aunt Ruth Robinson, a poet and community leader who published her first book at the age of 65. Robinson passed in 2020 when she was 94 years old.

"It's an honor to introduce you to her Spirit," Amaker said.


Marcus Amaker is a husband, a dad, a son, a music nerd, and a Star Wars obsessive. He served as the first Poet Laureate of Charleston, South Carolina, from 2016-22. In 2021, he became an Academy of American Poets fellow.

His work has been recognized by The Washington Post, The Kennedy Center, American Poets Magazine, Chicago Opera Theater, The Portland Opera, Button Poetry, NPR, The Chicago Tribune, Edutopia, Town & Country, PBS NewsHour, South Carolina Public Radio, Charleston Magazine, Charleston City Paper, Post and Courier, and more.

He's also a prolific performer, the award-winning graphic designer, a musician, an opera librettist, the creator of a poetry festival, a teaching artist, and an advocate for youth poets. His poetry was used by the Washington National Opera for its Presidential Inauguration Day Concert in 2021.

In addition to more than 40 independent electronic music albums, Marcus' poem "The Rain" is on two Grammy-nominated records.

He lives in North Charleston, SC, with his wife, their daughter, and a cat named after Wu-Tang Clan.

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