Michael Hanner was born in Iowa in 1941, but grew up in the brick town of Rock Island, Illinois, then later on, Miami and Chicago on the lake.
He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana with a degree in Architecture, then worked as an architect for several years in Chicago and after moving west in 1970, in Eugene, Oregon. He retired as an architect in 2003 and holds emeritus status with the American Institute of Architects.
Hanner published some poems and essays in college, but did not return to creative writing until the 1990s. In the late 80s, he published articles in Fine Gardening and Fine Woodworking. In the early 90s, he was editor and publisher of The Balkline, a quarterly for the American Croquet Association. During the same period Michael also worked on a nautical dictionary, now abandoned.
He is a member of Lane Literary Guild's Red Sofa Poets. His poetry has appeared in Denali, Tiger's Eye, MARGIE, Mudfish, Cloudbank, Crab Creek Review, Nimrod, the CD Poets Demanding Ink and a number of anthologies. Hanner has self-published half a dozen chapbooks, including most recently Closing Down the Piccolo Bar (2008), Palm Sunday (2009), and The Yellowing Months (2010).
He has travelled extensively in France and many of his poems are the fruits of these trips. He has taught croquet at the University of Oregon in 2009 and 2010. His other interests are photography, gardening, irony, tango, and cooking. He is not a man to be trusted around a plate of cake donuts.
He lives with his wife, poet Toni Hanner, in Eugene, Oregon.
Recognizing the need for poetry in our lives, the Oregon Poetic Voices Project (OPV) has begun to create a comprehensive digital archive of poetry readings that will complement existing print collections of poetry across the state.
"We each carry lines of poetry with us. Words that others have written float back to us and stay with us, indelibly. We clutch these "life lines" like totems, repeat them as mantras, and summon them for comfort and laughter."
-Academy of American Poets