Emmett Wheatfall lives in Portland, Oregon where he reads, writes, and performs poetry. Emmett has published five books of poetry. They are He Sees Things (2010), We Think We Know (2011), The Meaning of Me (2012), Bread Widow (2013, and his first hardback collection titled Fragments (2015). Emmett has written four chapbooks under the titles Queen of the Nile, I Too AM A Slave, The Majestic, and Midnight In Madrid. His poems have been published in online journals and periodicals.
He has released one non-lyrical poetry CD titled I Speak and three lyrical poetry CDs. When I Was Young (2010) is a thematic CD that speaks to love, hope, betrayal, and fidelity addressed in various social and cultural context. I Loved You Once (2011) contains poetry writing set to jazz, blues, and pop musical influences. His latest release is titled Them Poetry Blues (2013). The album features some of Oregon’s most talented jazz and blues musicians.
Set for release the summer of 2017 is a new lyrical poetry work titled “Welcome Home” featuring musical compositions by Portland pianist Mr. James (Jim) Blackburn, narration by Lynn Darroch with spoken-word written and recited by poet Emmett Wheatfall. It's a compilation of stylish poetry contextualize post-Korean War era, and tells the tale about an African America war veteran who returns home to find love and experience loss. As an extra treat poet Emmett Wheatfall sings on the track titled Mr. Piano Man.
In 2014 and 2016 Emmett served on the Nomination Committee for the selection of Oregon’s Poet Laureate. The Oregon Poet Laureate fosters the art of poetry, encourages literacy and learning, addresses central issues related to humanities and heritage, and reflects on public life in Oregon. The poet is appointed by the governor of the State of Oregon.
Emmett continues to be a featured poet at Poetry readings and has performed lyrical poetry in concert with former Oregon Poet Laureate Lawson Inada and been on the air (radio) with Oregon's poet laureate Paulann Petersen.
He was a featured poet at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the March on Washington—Portland Event wherein he delivered his original poem for the occasion entitled “Miles To Go Before We Sleep.” He also was the keynote speaker at the Oregon Historical Society's Oregon Black History Series “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom Fiftieth Anniversary Programs” screening of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream" speech on August 28, 2013.
Emmett has performed lyrical jazz and blues poetry at Jimmy Mak’s Jazz Club: the once premier Northwest Jazz club, having been regarded as one of America's top 100 Jazz Clubs. He’s been accompanied by world class Jazz and blues musicians in the persons of Noah Peterson (Peterson Entertainment LLC), Gordon Lee, Andre St. James, Edwin Coleman III, and John Thomas: Canadian pianist Gaea Shell, Eldon T. Jones, James (Jim) Blackburn, and Ramsey Embick. In addition, such Portland legends James Miller, Carlton Jackson, the "Lion of the B-3 Hammond" Mr. Louis "aka King Louie" Pain, Peter Dammann, Albert Reda, and Salem's own Nathan Olsen, and Portland pianist and composer James (Jim) Blackburn. Most notable is the late great Grammy nominated Jazz, Blues, and Gospel pianist and recording artist Ms. Janice Scroggins, as well as Portland vocalist Ms. Barbara Harris.
Emmett has performed lyrical poetry in local jazz venues such as Ivories Jazz Lounge and Restaurant, Tony Starlight's Supper Club and Lounge, Backspace Café (formerly), Portland's fabulous Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and many venues around the Portland area.
Special mention is made of his longtime personal assistant and dear friend, Ms. Carolyn Lee, including his poetry editor Mr. Eric Alder.