Award-winning poet, playwright, and performer Lenelle Moïse debuted her first collection of poetry, Haiti Glass, with City Lights under our Sister Spit imprint earlier this year. Edited by Michelle Tea, the City Lights/Sister Spit series spotlights queer-centric, feminist, irreverent writers and artists, some of whom never widely published.
Moïse’s extensive body of creative work—essays, poetry, plays, music, and screenplays—explores the politics of identity, memory, and spirit. A current Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow, her plays Womb-Words, Thirsting, Ache What Make, Expatriate, Matermorphosis, Purple, and Cornered in the Dark have been produced across the country. She lives in Northampton, MA, where she was the 2010-2012 Poet Laureate.
Haiti Glass, featuring cover art by Moïse herself, reflects the poet’s experiences growing up as a Haitian immigrant in the suburbs of Boston, bearing witness to both beauty and brutality. While her performance style and writing is most often showcased in a theater, the poetry itself jumps right off the page to the reader.
In a recent review on Velvetpark Media, this phenomenon is described:
Hard to believe then that this is her first book, which captures her passionate live performance in a way one can linger a little longer and study a little more closely her precisely chosen words … Moïse’s work is always self-reflective, political and personal navigating the hurdles faced by black and brown immigrants in a promised land full of gated privilege. Her verse investigates the underbelly of family and society looking starkly at sexuality, violence and hope as it confronts despair.
Please enjoy videos of Lenelle performing below, both her own plays as well as pieces from Haiti Glass.
Haiti Glass Book Trailer:
[vimeo 86803454 w=500 h=281]
Moïse’s spoken word performances, featuring “Whose Child am I?” excerpt, “We Live Up Here” excerpt, and “Stop Killing Us”:
[vimeo 26444973 w=500 h=281]
“Self Portrait as a Heel” from Ache What Make:
[vimeo 43876108 w=500 h=281]
From Haiti Glass, “Where Our Protest Sound”
Haiti Glass is available now from City Lights/Sister Spit. Lenelle continues to tour this fall in locations on the East Coast and in San Francisco. On Oct. 16, City Lights will celebrate the release of Haiti Glass with a reading by Lenelle at our store. More events to come.