Aaron Coleman is the author of Threat Come Close (Four Way Books, 2018) winner of the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Award, and St. Trigger (Button, 2016), selected by Adrian Matejka for the Button Chapbook Prize.
A Fulbright Scholar and Cave Canem Fellow from Metro-Detroit, Aaron has lived and worked with youth in locations including Spain, South Africa, Chicago, St. Louis, and Kalamazoo. His poems and essays have appeared in publications including Boston Review, Callaloo, New York Times Magazine, the Poetry Society of America, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series.
After completing an MFA in Poetry at Washington University in St. Louis and working in the Public Projects Department at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Aaron is currently a PhD Candidate in Comparative Literature on the International Writers Track with a concentration in Translation Studies.
His dissertation, Poetics of Afrodiasporic Translation: Negotiating Race, Nation, and Belonging Between Cuba and the United States, investigates how Black poets of the United States translate AfroCuban poets in order to compare their respective literary traditions and explore the transnational impact of the African diaspora on the Americas. Situating his own praxis as a translator and poet in relation to Black US-American poet-translators in the twentieth century (like Langston Hughes and James Weldon Johnson) undergirds his current translation project with Nicolás Guillén’s underexamined 1967 poetry collection, El gran zoo [The Great Zoo].
Aaron Coleman is the founder of The Patchwork Project: A Home for Black Translators & Writers, a virtual meeting ground and online database where Black translators and writers from different locations and languages of Africa and the African Diaspora can partner and work with each other. The name of this endeavor, The Patchwork Project, honors quilting practices in Black communities of the Great Migration and U.S. South that bring together disparate textiles – textures that remain unique even as they are connected – to create an eclectic, storytelling whole.