Biography of Roger Bonair-Agard
A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Roger Bonair-Agard is a poet and performance artist who lives in Chicago. He has made numerous television and radio appearances, has led countless workshops and lectures, and has performed his poetry at many US universities as well as at international festivals in Germany, Switzerland, Milan, and Jamaica.
Born in Trinidad, Bonair-Agard moved to the United States in 1987, intending to begin university and eventually pursue law, but finding himself "instead exploring the seediest sides of New York City life". He studied Political Science at Hunter College, and was about to take the Law School Admission Test when he decided to concentrate on poetry rather than a law career.
He was a member of the 1997 Nuyorican Poets Cafe Poetry Slam team and later coached the 1998 Nuyorican Poets Cafe Poetry Slam team, which went on to win the National Poetry Slam Championship that year in Austin, TX.
He then co-founded the louderARTS Project and has been on the 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 louderARTS Poetry Slam teams. In 1999, he won the individual competition at the National Poetry Slam. He is currently the Artistic Director for louderARTS. He has also been Adjunct Professor in the Creative Writing Department at Fordham University. Over the past decade he has worked with the youth at Urban Word in New York City, at Volume in Ann Arbor and with poetry youth organizations in Seattle, San Francisco, and the Adirondack Valley, NY. He teaches poetry at the Cook Country Temporary Juvenile Detention Center in Chicago, IL. Bonair-Agard is also a Cave Canem fellow, and has studied under Yusef Komunyakaa, Cornelius Eady, Marilyn Nelson, Toi Derricotte, and Patricia Smith.