Poet to Playwright: On the Dramatic Joy of Changing Hats

Room 2104B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level
Friday, February 9, 2024
1:45 pm to 3:00 pm


Poetry and playwriting are linked crafts—and not only in the hands of the famed Bard of Avon. What happens when poets set out to write plays? How does the craft of poetry translate to the stage, and what can the idea of the stage teach us about the poem? In this panel, four poets with playwriting projects discuss the joyful learning curve of entering theatrical spaces, reflecting on how this crossover affects everything from craft to collaboration.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: #AWP_outline_Playwright.pdf



Tess Taylor is the author of five collections of poetry, including The Misremembered World, The Forage House, and Work & Days. In spring 2020 she published two books of poems: Last West, part of "Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures" at the Museum of Modern Art, and Rift Zone from Red Hen Press.

Jason Bayani is the author of Locus (Omnidawn Publishing 2019) and Amulet (Write Bloody 2013). He's an MFA graduate of Saint Mary's, a Kundiman fellow, and the codirector of Kearny Street Workshop. In 2016, he premiered his solo theater show Locus of Control, and tours it across the country.

Arisa White is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and author of Who's Your Daddy and Home Is Where You Queer Your Heart. She collaborates with other artists to expand readership for poetry and to center the narratives of queer BIPOC. White is an associate professor of creative rriting at Colby College.

Patricia Smith's books: Unshuttered, Incendiary Art (Kingsley Tufts, Pulitzer finalist, LA Times Book Prize), Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (Lenore Marshall), and Blood Dazzler (National Book Award finalist). Academy chancellor, Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, Guggenheim fellow, Princeton professor.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center