tv + film + video

Lenelle writes teleplays and screenplays and is a member of the Writers Guild of America. She contributed vignettes to Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground (2021), an IDA-nominated hybrid documentary, currently streaming on HBO Max. She co-wrote Sexual Dependency (2003), a feature-length film, which won the International Film Critics' Award at the Locarno International Film Festival (Switzerland). Lenelle also wrote and starred in the experimental short To Erzulie (2002), which premiered at the Berlin Sommerfest der Literaturen. She was a vocal coach for Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People (2014), a documentary by Thomas Allen Harris. Check out Lenelle’s Vimeo channel for more.


visual art

Lenelle experiments with collage as a form of meditative practice and nonlinear storytelling. She created the cover art for Haiti Glass. Her artwork (crafted with ribbon, paper, paint, pencil, and ink) is visible throughout 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 a poet, playwright, and screenwriter. She performs with heart, heat, humor, music, and movement. Her book Haiti Glass is about girlhood, immigration, queer grace, and love. It was a Lambda Literary Award finalist and a PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award winner.

theatre

Inspired by humid summers, mixtapes, and art museums, Lenelle wrote the romantic comedy K-I-S-S-I-N-G (Huntington Theatre), winner of the 2023 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding New Script, and recipient of a 2024 Steinberg/ ATCA New Play Citation. She also wrote and composed music for the dramatic tour-de-force Expatriate (Off-Broadway, Culture Project), a New York Times Critics' Pick. Her play Merit won The Ruby Prize and was featured on The Kilroys' List. See more plays here.



Tell a truth on purpose.
Tempt with exactitude.
Make the work you need.
Risk being loved.

—Lenelle Moïse



Lenelle was a Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow and a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow in Dramatic Writing. She has received awards and development residencies from the Gaea Foundation, Southern Rep, Hedgebrook, the Astraea Foundation, Clark University, New Rep, and Women Center Stage. The New Black Fest commissioned her to write the short play San Francisco Cab for UnTamed. Baltimore Center Stage commissioned her to write Taurus Tornado, a monologue for the My America TV series directed by Hal Hartley. Lenelle has been a guest artist at the United Nations, the Norton Museum, arts institutions, colleges, and conferences across North America. Her evening-length solo shows include Womb-Words, Thirsting, an interactive coming-of-age story and Where There Are Voices, a ritual based on the poems of Haiti Glass. As an actor, Lenelle performed Off-Broadway, co-starring with Karla Mosley in Expatriate and Rebel Voices, an ensemble play based on Howard Zinn's Voices of a People's History of the United States. As an Artist-in-Residence, Lenelle has taught solo and ensemble performance courses at Northwestern University, UT Austin, and Smith College.

publications
Her writing appears in the July/August 2024 issue of POETRY Magazine and in a dozen anthologies,
including Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution (2007) and The Kilroys List, Volume Two: 67 Monologues and Scenes by Women and Nonbinary Playwrights (2020). 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

2024 Citation, Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ ATCA New Play Award for K-I-S-S-I-N-G

2024 Finalist, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for K-I-S-S-I-N-G

2023 Winner, Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding New Script for K-I-S-S-I-N-G

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

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