Bio

Emmett Wheatfall lives in Portland, Oregon where he reads, writes, publishes, and performs poetry. Fernwood Press, an imprint of Barclay Press has published 2 books of Emmett's poetry. His collection titled As Clean as a Bone was published in May 2018 through Fernwood Press. As Clean as a Bone was a 2019 Eric Hoffer Award Finalist as well as a da Vinci Eye award finalist. Our Scarlet Blue Wounds is his latest collection and was published in November 2019. Our Scarlet Blue Wounds examines poetically American “Exceptionalism” in light of today’s political, social, and economic constructs.

Emmett has recorded one non-lyrical (without music) poetry CD titled I Speak and four lyrical poetry (with music) CDs. They are When I Was Young (2010), I Loved You Once (2011), Them Poetry Blues (2013), and Welcome Home (2017). These CDs feature some of Oregon’s most gifted and talented jazz, blues, and pop musicians, and artists. His latest release is titled, Somebody Told Me (2020) and is his first gospel single.

Since 2014 Emmett has served on the Nomination Committees for the selection of Oregon Poet Laureate Peter Sears, Elizabeth Woody, Kim Stafford, and Anis Majgani. 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.

In October of 2017, Emmett gave the keynote address at the 2017 Oregon Poetry Association Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon. The title of his keynote address was "Can Poets Change the World?"

Emmett was a featured poet at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the March on Washington (Portland Event), where he delivered his original poem written for the occasion, Miles to Go Before We Sleep. In addition, poet Wheatfall was the keynote speaker at the screening of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech for the Oregon Historical Society’s Oregon Black History Series program, “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom Fiftieth Anniversary” on August 28, 2013.  

He has performed lyrical spoken word poetry in Portland jazz venues such as Ivories Jazz Lounge and Restaurant, Tony Starlight's Supper Club and Lounge, Backspace Caf√© (formerly), Portland's fabulous Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and many venues around the Portland area. He has performed lyrical jazz and blues poetry at Jimmy Mak’s: the former premier Northwest Jazz club, once regarded as one of America's top 100 Jazz Clubs. 

Emmett has 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., including Portland's the late great Mr. James Miller. Then there is the "Boss of the B-3 Hammond" Mr. Louis Pain, aka “King Louie,” as well as Carlton Jackson, Peter Dammann, Albert Reda; Salem, Oregon great Nathan Olsen, and Portland pianist and composer James (Jim) Blackburn. Most notable was the legendary master and late great Grammy-nominated Jazz, Blues, and Gospel pianist and recording artist Ms. Janice Scroggins.

Special mention is made of his longtime personal assistant and dear friend, Ms. Carolyn Lee.