Jamaal May is from Detroit, MI, where he taught poetry in public schools and worked as a freelance audio engineer.
He is the author of Hum (Alice James Books, 2013) and The Big Book of Exit Strategies (Alice James Books, 2016). His first book, Hum, received the American Library Association’s Notable Book Award, an NAACP Image Award nomination, the Beatrice Hawle Award from Alice James Books and Foreword Review’s Book of the Year Silver Medal, and was named one of The Boston Globe’s Best Books of 2013. Other honors include The J. Howard and Barbara M. J. Wood Prize from Poetry, the Indiana Review Prize, and the Spirit of Detroit Award, and fellowships from the Stadler Foundation, Cave Canem, the Lannan Foundation, The Kenyon Review and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy. Jamaal’s poems have appeared in such publications as The New Republic, The Believer, Poetry, Ploughshares, and NYTimes.com, and been anthologized in Please Excuse this Poem: 100 Poems for the Next Generation (Penguin), 2015 Pushcart Prize Anthology (Pushcart Press), Best American Poetry 2014 (Scribner), and elsewhere. A graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA, he co-directs the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook and Video Series with Tarfia Faizullah.