Poet Alvin Aubert was born in Lutcher, Louisiana, in 1930. He left school early and worked until joining the U.S. Army in 1947. He earned his GED, progressed to the rank of master sergeant, and started reading poetry seriously. Aubert earned a BA from Southern University in Baton Rouge and an MA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he was a Woodrow Wilson National Fellow. He pursued postgraduate work at the University of Illinois.
Aubert is the author of the poetry collections Against the Blues (1972), Feeling Through (1975), A Noisesome Music (1979), South Louisiana: New and Selected Poems (1985), If Winter Come: Collected Poems 1967–1992 (1994), and Harlem Wrestler and Other Poems (1995). His poetry draws on his personal experience of growing up in a small Mississippi River town as well as his interest in African American cultural figures.
A career in teaching took Aubert back to Southern University, where he taught for ten years, to SUNY Fredonia and then to Wayne State University in Michigan, where he was professor and director of the Center for Black Studies as well as chair of Africana Studies. In 1975, he founded the journal Obsidian: Black Literature in Review, which was an early forum for African American literature and literary criticism.
Auberts’s honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Callaloo Award, and the Xavier Activist for the Humanities Award.