Off The Shelf by Doug Holder
When Poet Afaa Michael Weaver walked into the editorial offices of The Somerville News his presence seemed to require a hush. He is a large, distinguished-looking, black man in his late 50s who has made considerable contributions to the contemporary poetry world.
This is not a poet who went straight from a top shelf college to an MFA mill. He is from the streets of Baltimore, a working class kid who wrote for The Baltimore Sun, and started his own small press while he toiled in the less than academic settings of a tin mill, and a Procter & Gamble factory. He was a member in good standing with the International Oil and Chemical Workers Union, and his hands were callused from hard physical labor, not pampered with a pen.