(1968 - Present)
Poet, essayist, book critic, and educator Michael Kleber-Diggs was raised in Kansas City and Wichita, Kansas. His family was part of the Black professional and academic community, and he grew up reading prolifically and encountering eminent cultural figures like Maya Angelou and Gordon Parks. Kleber-Diggs worked as a lawyer for many years before being drawn to poetry.
Worldly Things, Kleber-Diggs’ 2021 poetry debut with Milkweed Press, won the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize, the Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Poetry, and the Balcones Poetry Prize, as well as being named a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. A 2023–2025 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, Michael has been a fellow at the Givens Foundation for African American Literature, a winner of the Loft Mentor Series in Poetry, and Poet Laureate of the Anoka County library system. His writing has appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books, Poem-a-Day, Poetry Northwest, Potomac Review, and many other journals and anthologies.
Kleber-Diggs teaches with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop and at Augsburg University’s low-res MFA program and the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Photo by Ayanna Muata.