Lenelle Moïse is an award-winning poet, playwright, performance artist and the 2017 Lakes Writer-in-Residence at Smith College. She creates jazz-infused, hip-hop bred, politicized texts about the intersection of identity, memory and spirit. She is the author of Haiti Glass, a winner of the 2015 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award. Moïse recites from hand-made scrolls, with fervor, humor, power and movement. She has performed Off-Broadway, at the United Nations and at theatres, colleges and conferences across North America. In addition to dynamic readings of Haiti Glass, she is currently available to perform: Word Life, her acclaimed autobiographical coming of age story and Speaking Intersections, a fierce set of queer feminist poetry and prose. Moïse is also developing Where There Are Voices, a one-woman show based on Haiti Glass.

Download Lenelle’s Press Kit and keep reading for more.

“See Moïse push stories from her mouth like it might save your life.”—The Root


Lenelle is a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow in Dramatic Writing. She was a Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow and a Next Voices Fellow at New Rep. She earned an MFA in Playwriting from Smith College in 2004. Her newest 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. As an actor, Moïse 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.

”Lenelle Moïse brings fierce passion.” —The New York Times



Haiti Glass is Lenelle’s long-awaited first book. Her poems and 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 writing has also been published in Women and Performance, Platte Valley Review, Utne Reader, Make/Shift Magazine, Left Turn, Rethinking Schools, the legendary OurChart.com and Velvetpark Magazine. In 2008, she was a featured writer for the Institute for the Future of the Book’s The Golden Notebook Project.

“Creatively brave...talent is audible in every breath...Moïse brings

all the jazz, all the serious, all the heart and soul that is music

and pours it over this album like molten honey.” —Next Best Thing


Lenelle’s sophomore CD, The Expatriate Amplification Project features playful, poly-rhythmic, all-vocal music about love, homeland, flight and freedom. She often incorporates original music into solo performances.

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

“Revolutionary.” —TribLocal.com


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. Currently out on DVD, 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. Moïse 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.

“Sensuality, humor, adept political insight and physical virtuosity.

She is a storyteller, performer and activist in one.” —The F-Word Zine

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. In December 2007, she presented her collection “URBAN WINGS” as part of a group show at the Hosmer Gallery in Northampton, MA. See the slideshow below for a glimpse of these vibrant mixed media works.

“In the work of Lenelle Moïse, issues of identity and geography

unspool in Haitian rhythms.” —Valley Advocate

Photo credits:

Portrait by Vanessa Vargas

Keynote performance at the Northfield Mount Hermon School Diversity Summit photo by Glenn Minshall

Expatriate Off-Broadway production photo by Vanessa Vargas

Portrait by Leah Fasten

Expatriate Off-Broadway production photo by Vanessa Vargas

Word Rock & Sword photo by YK Hong

Writeous! photo by Angela Jimenez courtesy of Astraea

Portrait courtesy of Suffolk University

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