Lawson Fusoa Inada and Emmett Wheatfall

“A Celebration of Poetry in Jazz”
Lawson Fusoa Inada and Emmett Wheatfall

In honor of National Poetry Month, Poets Lawson Inada and Emmett Wheatfall are celebrating Poetry in Jazz.  Performances are in Portland on Friday, April 22nd and in Seattle on Saturday April 23rd.  Visit for more information.
“A Celebration of Poetry in Jazz” has been created to share the works of these inspired and gifted writers.  Lawson & Emmett bring their diverse backgrounds, styles and experiences to life in thoughtful, expressive poetic story.  Combined with music these performances are inspiring and evocative.
Lawson Inada is considered a pioneer in Japanese-American literature and has received many honors and awards.  He was named Oregon State Poet in 1991 and served as Oregon’s Poet Laureate from 2006-2010. His collection of poems “Before the War” was the first book of poetry by an Asian American to be published by a major New York publishing house.  He won the American Book Award for his work “Legends from Camp” in 1992.  He won the Oregon Book Award for Poetry in 1997, the Pushcart Prize for Poetry in 1996 and was honored at the White House for a “Salute of Poetry and American Poets.”  He is a Professor Emeritus of English at Southern Oregon University, received two Poetry Fellowships from the NEA, was a Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry in 2004 and currently serves as the Steinbeck Chair for the National Steinbeck Center.
Emmett Wheatfall is a rising star in the world of poetry.  He burst onto the scene with his recorded work, “When I Was Young” a music and poetry collaboration with producer Noah Peterson.  Featured in Wine and Jazz Magazine, Emmett was called “…one of the most original and powerful debut jazz artists of the year.”  “When I Was Young” is currently on air at various stations throughout the country.  Emmett is a gifted orator and is sought out for his speaking ability.  He has done voice-over work and is an annual presenter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.s “I Have A Dream Speech” for various organizations during Black History Month.
He has two published collections of poems, “He Sees Things” and “We Think We Know” and an audio CD of his poetry entitled, “I Speak.” Emmett has several poems published online for organizations celebrating and promoting African-American Poetry.
  • Saxophones: Larry Nobori, Noah Peterson
  • Piano: Gordon Lee
  • Bass: Andre St. James
  • Drums: Tim DuRoche
Please join Lawson Inada and Emmett Wheatfall for a rare and special evening of Poetry in Jazz.