Published author and poet, Craig A. Combs, is a Michigan native and resident now in his third decade as an independent writer. Following more than 13 years of living in the Deep South and traveling the world in search of inspiration and purpose, he has discovered in himself a unique gift for stimulating the mind and soothing the heart and soul of his readers, as well as those who experience his work in spoken-word form.
Since the publication of his first anthology in the fall of 2011, under the title Taking Tea in the Black Rose: Singing Through the Shadows Until We're Dancing in the Light, Craig continues to push the envelope in the arena of creative writing with thoughtful works of natural beauty and pioneering ideas that leave his audience with an equal sense of tenderness and childlike fascination.
With an ever-curious mind this author unapologetically pursues a life vision of openness and conscious seeking that would make anyone blush, both commoner and sovereign alike. Craig has a rare talent for drawing out the deepest emotional sensitivities of his readers, much like a snake charmer cunningly lures his subject from its most intimate sanctuary. What he reveals to them through this dialectic process becomes the exclusive reward of each reader, a lasting souvenir that can never be taken away.
IN THE PRESS
"Since February 2012, Combs has performed at Glass City Cafe in Toledo, and for the past three months with the Broadway Bards at The Original Sub Shop & Deli in the Old South End.
Tara Armstrong began a themed poetry series in 2011 at Glass City Cafe, and Combs first participated when he filled in at the last minute on Feb. 10, in a reading night titled “Crave: An Erotic Literature Reading.” Armstrong likes the themed nights because she said they hold the attention of the audience, instead of forcing them to jump from topic to topic.
Armstrong said Combs is a gifted and passionate poet whose work, while “deep and observant,” is not for everyone.
“Craig’s writing has a new age feel that doesn’t appeal to some but attracts others. People who gravitate toward his style would certainly say Craig is in a league of his own,” Armstrong said. “Other poets are passionate about politics, romance, loss, self-awareness or anything else that captivates and moves. Craig is passionate about witnessing life and gaining from both that sight as well as the process of living, and I think he has mastered the art of perceiving and accepting.”
Hod Doering was one of the founders of the Broadway Bards, a group that reads poetry on the third Saturday evening of each month at The Original Sub Shop & Deli on Broadway Street. Combs, who Doering classifies as a romantic, was the featured half-hour performer in June.
“I’ve enjoyed his poetry,” Doering said of Combs. “He has good imagery and a good grasp of his craft I think. He’s off to a really good start, and he will probably grow and change, as most of us do.”
Combs has continued to promote himself and his work in the Toledo area, which Doering said will pay off for him.
“His energy will really help him.” Doering said. “[His energy] will give him a place in the scene here.”"—Morgan Delp, Toledo Free Press
“Craig Combs, who was a sales manager and bookkeeper for the Express Gay News a decade ago, has published a revealing book of poems, titled Taking Tea in the Black Rose. The 43-year-old writer left the business world to expand his interest in holistic health, nutrition, exercise, and herbalism.
Life is a series of comings and goings for all of us, and Combs has tried to capture his own journeys through sickness and wellness, by recording his thoughts of both disappointment and victory. As he writes in one poem, ‘An Alpine Shadow in Delta Station,’ “Isn’t it strange/well nigh insane/the way happiness calls for pain.”
It is a reflective series of words for a gentleman whose entire path is a sea change from the days when he was an account executive and busy bookkeeper for the Express Gay News, but now his expressions make news in our paper.”—Elliott Joseph, South Florida Gay News
"It is an insightful Craig Combs that emerges in this book of distinctively visceral poetry, a candid and uncompromising exploration of heart and soul. It is a compilation of tales and tears that speaks with you rather than at you, worthy of your consideration. Subtitled ‘Singing Through the Shadows Until We’re Dancing in the Light,’ it is a promising and provocative work, representing a collage of three decades of Craig’s life; his travails and travels."—Norm Kent, South Florida Gay News
"Born in the wake of the turbulent 1960s, Craig Combs has always let the spirit of that time guide him on his own personal journey. The poet and Flint native, who now lives in the Old West End, has traveled the world, from Australia to Mexico to Florida, but in his work he explores the inner landscape."—Staff Writer, Toledo City Paper