Emmett Wheatfall lives in Portland, Oregon where he reads, writes, publishes and performs poetry. He has published 7 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). He published his sixth collection titled As Clean as a Bone in May 2018 through Fernwood Press, an imprint of Barclay 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. Published by Fernwood Press in November 2019, it takes a poet examination of American “Exceptionalism” in light of today’s political, social, and economic constructs.
In 2014, 2016, and 2018 he served on the Nomination Committee for the selection of Oregon Poet Laureate Peter Sears, Elizabeth Woody, and Kim Stafford. 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, Poet Wheatfall 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?"
He 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.
Poet Wheatfall has recorded one non-lyrical (without music) spoken word poetry CD titled I Speak and four lyrical spoken word 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 albums feature some of Oregon’s most gifted and talented jazz, blues, and pop musicians and artists.
He has performed lyrical spoken word 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. He has performed lyrical spoken word jazz and blues poetry at Jimmy Mak’s Jazz Club: the former premier Northwest Jazz club, having been regarded as one of America's top 100 Jazz Clubs.
Poet Wheatfall 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.
In addition, such Portland legends as the late great Mr. James Miller. Then there’s the "Boss of the B-3 Hammond" Mr. Louis Pain, aka “King Louie,” Carlton Jackson, Peter Dammann, Albert Reda; Salem, Oregon great Nathan Olsen, and Portland pianist and composer James (Jim) Blackburn. Most notable was the master and late great Grammy-nominated Jazz, Blues, and Gospel pianist and recording artist Ms. Janice Scroggins, as well as Portland vocalist Ms. Barbara Harris.
Special mention is made of his longtime personal assistant and dear friend, Ms. Carolyn Lee, including his poetry editor Mr. Eric Alder.