Charles McCaskill
Specialty Writing, poetry

Charles McCaskill

Artist Bio

Charles McCaskill is a native of Florida, born in Pensacola before moving to Fort Myers in 2022. He believes his poetry should be a direct reflection of all of who he is: a polyamorous Black man speaking his truth in the South, a grieving grandson attempting to live the life of his grandmother’s dreams, and an overall flawed human in this beautiful and flawed state we call home. He cut his teeth finding his voice in bars, cafes, political rallies, and stumbling through life. His work explores raw facets of intimacy, grief, and the messy creation of continually excavating and defining the art as well as the artist. His debut collection of poetry Where I’ve Laid My Head releases December 8th from Indie Earth Publishing.

Artist Statement

I compose these words with every single part of my identity. Rooted in a matrilineal lineage, they are crafted by a child of Black women who Jim Crow tried to push into the margins. They are words I yell and the ones I whisper to the back of my teeth. These words are doors to my own heart I am afraid to open still. They are messy impulses that make me want to be more animal than man, more guts than glory. A wound in my left side in the shape of the women I’ve loved poorly. Tucked in the gaps between letters, you can see all of it if you look hard enough. My habit of talking to ghosts and trees and versions of people that used to exist or never actually existed in the first place. I could carve myself up with decorum and splay only some portions of myself neat and shiny but it would be a thin sheet of glamor easily brushed away. The plurality of my love, the innate gift of my voice, the political timbre of a Black man born in the south, everything that I am is in my poetry.

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