film + video

At age 20, Lenelle co-wrote Sexual Dependency, Bolivian director Rodrigo Bellot's feature film debut about Western media influence on the youth of the global south. The film won the International Film Critics' Award at the Locarno International Film Festival (Switzerland) and has since been screened and awarded in dozens of festivals and cinemas on four continents. Lenelle also wrote and starred in Mara Alper's short experimental video To Erzulie which premiered at the Berlin Sommerfest der Literaturen in July 2002. Her self-produced music video Pied Piper was an official selection of the International Museum of Women's 2007 Online Film Festival. Lenelle’s distinct voice is featured in Step by Step: Keeping the Arts Alive, a 30-minute documentary by Julie Akeret. She also earned a vocal coach credit for Through a Lens Darkly, a feature-length film by Thomas Allen Harris. Check out Lenelle’s Vimeo channel for more.


visual art

Lenelle created the cover art for her book, Haiti Glass. She experiments with collage as a form of meditative practice and nonlinear storytelling. Details of her visual artwork can be found all over this website.

meet

“Piercing, covering

territory both intimate and political...vivid and powerful.”

—Curve Magazine


“In her work,

influenced by both jazz

and hip-hop, Moïse explores the intersections of race, gender, sexual identity, and memory.”

—Poetry Foundation

Lenelle Moïse is an award-winning poet, playwright, screenwriter, and creative keynote speaker. She performs with theatrical heat, humor, music, and movement. In her book, Haiti Glass, Lenelle writes about around-the-way girlhood, immigration, earthquakes, queer grace, race-relations, guts, love, and memory. She has been a guest artist at the United Nations, Off-Broadway, and at colleges and conferences across North America. Lenelle was a 2017 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow in Dramatic Writing, and has penned many plays with leading roles for black women. Her solo performances include: Word Life, an acclaimed, interactive coming of age story, Speaking Intersections, a fierce feminist set poetry and prose, and Where There Are Voices, a ritual based on the poems of Haiti Glass. Lenelle independently released two albums: Madivinez and The Expatriate Amplification Project. She leads dynamic workshops on self-expression and social change. She loves rainbows, Nina Simone, quartz crystals, and sequins. She was a Poet Laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts.

theatre

Lenelle was a Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow, a Next Voices Fellow at New Rep, and a 2018 Playwright-in-Residence at Ithaca College Theatre Arts. Her two-act play, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, was commissioned by the Clark University Theatre Department. Her Ruby Prize winning comedy, Merit, was featured on the 2016 Kilroys List. In 2008, the Culture Project launched an Off-Broadway production of Expatriate, Lenelle’s critically-acclaimed two-woman show with all-vocal music (check out the New York Times review). Her other plays include: The Many Faces of Nia, Matermorphosis, Little Griot, Spilling Venus, Cornered in the Dark, and Purple. Lenelle earned an MFA in Playwriting from Smith College. As an actor, she co-stars with Karla Mosley in Expatriate, and appeared in the Off-Broadway production of Rebel Voices, a play based on Howard Zinn’s Voices of a People's History of the United States.

publications

Haiti Glass is Lenelle’s debut collection of poetry and prose, and won the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award. Her essays are featured in several anthologies, including: Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution and We Don't Need Another Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation of Feminists. Her work has also been published in Women and Performance, Meridians, No Tokens, Platte Valley Review, Utne Reader, Make/Shift Magazine, Left Turn, Rethinking Schools, and Velvetpark Magazine, among others. Lenelle was a featured writer for the Institute for the Future of the Book’s The Golden Notebook Project.

”Lenelle Moïse brings

fierce passion.”

—The New York Times


“She is also, by the way,

a force of nature — a performer

who not only recites her smart, passionate works (from handmade scrolls) but embodies them physically, explosively, and sings

as much as she speaks.”

—Valley Advocate


“Moïse writes on subjects

from race and class struggles to

love and feminist-fueled anger,

her verses tumbling out

in a delivery that’s like

smooth notes of jazz.”

—Time Out New York

honors + awards + fellowships + residencies

2018 Creative Resident, SPACE on Ryder Farm

2018 Playwright-in-Residence at Ithaca College Theatre Arts

2017 Lucille Geier Lakes Writer-in-Residence at Smith College

2017 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship in Dramatic Writing

2015 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award for Haiti Glass

2015 Laurel Park Artist in Residence

2014-2015 Next Voices Fellow at New Repertory Theatre

2014 Clark University Theatre Department New Play Commission for K-I-S-S-I-N-G

2012-2014 Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow

2012 Spring Performing Artist Fellow, African & African Diaspora Studies @ UT Austin

2011-2012 Southern Rep Ruby Prize for Merit

2011 Fall Fellow, Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women & Gender

2011 Mellon Artist-in-Residence in Performance Studies @ Northwestern University

2011 The Root’s Faves: The Top 30 Black Performance Poets

2010-2012 Poet Laureate of Northampton, MA

2010 Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival Fellow

2010 Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund Award in Poetry

2008 Black Women Playwrights Group Whisper Laugh Shout Award

2008 New WORLD Theater/ Hedgebrook Writing Fellow

2007 Patchwork Majority Radio Award for Best Solo Album: Madivinez

2006 Gaea Foundation Sea Change Residency

2005-2006 Astraea Loving Lesbians Award for Poetry

2004 Drammy for Best Ensemble Acting: Cornered in the Dark

2004 & 2003 James Baldwin Memorial Award in Playwriting

2003 New WORLD Theater Poetry Slam Champion

2001 & 2000 National Poetry Slam competitor with Team Ithaca, NY

“A Renaissance woman

in the arts.”

—The Commons


“Lenelle Moïse’s work is part

love song, part battle cry.

A Haitian-American powerhouse,

she defies the limits of genre:

poet, playwright, performer,

essayist, artist and activist.”

—Smith’d


“Revolutionary.”

—Chicago Tribune (TribLocal)

Photo credits:

Portrait by Vanessa Vargas

Expatriate Off-Broadway production photo by Vanessa Vargas

Piano Slam 6 at the Arsht Center photo by Masataka Suemitsu

Portrait by Leah Fasten

Bring this artist

to your campus or arts venue.

Download her Press Kit.

“Sensuality, humor, adept

political insight and physical virtuosity. She is a storyteller, performer and activist in one.”

—The F-Word Zine