First African-American Poet Laureate of the United States whose works include Those Winter Sundays and The Whipping. He is also famous for a sequence of poems on the subject of the Vietnam War.
He attended Wayne State University and the University of Michigan. He later taught at Fisk University.
His famous poetic work, Heart-Shape in the Dust, exemplifies his literary use of African-American vernacular speech.
He was raised by a foster family in Detroit, Michigan, and he grew up attending a Baptist church. After marrying Erma Inez Morris, he converted to the Baha'i Faith.
He was mentored by poet W.H. Auden.