Tracie Morris

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Tracie Morris is an American poet, performer, vocalist, page-based writer, critic, scholar, bandleader, actor, and multimedia performer originally from Brooklyn, New York. Morris' sound poetics have long been progressive in allowing the poem to breathe off the page. She is currently a Professor, and Coordinator of Performance and the Performance Studies at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.


Tracie Morris earned a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Poetry at Hunter College and her Doctoral Degree (PhD) in Performance Studies at New York University. She also studied classical British acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (London) and American acting techniques at Michael Howard Studios.


Morris has a way of writing about abuse, power and the body through reverberation and accumulative alterations or substituting, and creating a dynamic and intimate work for readers and listeners to enjoy. She emerged as a poet, performer and writer from the Lower East Side poetry scene in the early 1990s. She became known as a local poet in the "slam" scene located in the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City, New York, and eventually made the 1993 Nuyorican Poetry Slam team, the same year she won the Nuyorican Grand Slam. citation She competed in the 1993 eted in the 1993 National Poetry Slam held that year in San Francisco along with her Nuyorican teammates Maggie Estep, Hal Sirowitz and Regie Cabico.[1] She is the recipient of NYFA, Creative Capital, Asian Cultural Council and other grants, fellowships, residencies and other awards for poetry including the Yaddo, Millay, MacDowell colonies. She is a former CPCW (Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing) Poetics fellow of the University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the MLA (Modern Language Association), Associated Writing Programs, The Shakespeare Society and The Shakespeare Forum. She is a published writer or poet for more than a decade now. Her work has been seen in Fuse Magazine, Amsterdam News, and San Francisco Weekly. She performed at the Lincoln Center, St. Mark's Poetry Project, and many more.

Soon after, she began touring with other "slam poets" around the country and abroad, including Maggie Estep, Dael Orlandersmith, Mike Tyler and Paul Beatty and performed her work on MTV's Spoken Word: Unplugged.[2] She was also performing with music from the outset of her poetry career—collaborating with musicians she met through the Black Rock Coalition. Morris' work is embraced by slam and performance poets as well as the Language Poets, a contemporary poetic avant-garde. She is featured, for example, on Charles Bernstein's Close Listening radio program[3] and was featured at a 2008 conference on Conceptual Poetics alongside Bernstein, Marjorie Perloff, Craig Dworkin and others. Morris also received the Creative Capital Performing Arts award in the year 2000.

Morris is now known as a sound artist and specialist in sound poetry[4] and as an occasional theatrical performer. (She is also a singer with composer/musician Elliott Sharp's band, Terraplane, and her eponymous band.) She has studied British acting technique at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London as well as Laban and Meisner techniques in the United States.[5] Her work was featured in the 2002 Whitney Biennial.[6] In 2008 her poem "Africa(n)" was included on the compilation album Crosstalk: American Speech Music (Bridge Records; produced by Mendi & Keith Obadike). Morris has a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from NYU and an MFA in poetry from Hunter College; and has taught in several institutions of higher education (she is a full professor at Pratt Institute, specializing in Performance Studies). She was the 2007-2008 Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.[7]

Featured recordings[edit]

With Elliott Sharp

  • Terraplane: Forgery
  • Terraplane: Secret Life
  • Radio-Hyper-Yahoo
  • Terraplane: Sky Road Songs
  • 4AM Always

With Uri Caine


"Rhyme Scheme", 2012, Zasterle Press

Intermission, 1998, Soft Skull Press

Chap-T-Her Won, 1993, TM Ink

Handholding: 5 kinds, 2012, Kore Press


You starting' wif me

The Old Days


Slave Sho' to Video Aka Black but Beautiful

The Mrs. Gets Her Ass Kicked

Project Princess


  1. ^ Aptowicz, Cristin O'Keefe. (2008). Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam. New York City: Soft Skull Press. "Chapter 14: First and Always; Graduates from the NYC Poetry Slam's First Wave" ISBN 1-933368-82-9.
  2. ^ MTV's Unplugged series Episode Guide
  3. ^ PennSound.
  4. ^ Sound poetry
  5. ^ Tracie Morris website.
  6. ^ 2002 Whitney Biennial List of Artists
  7. ^ Fellow in Poetics & Poetic Practice


  • The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry in Anthologies by Tessa Kale
  • Right to Rock: The Black Rock Coalition and the Cultural Politics of Race by Maureen Mahon
  • The Stamp of Class: Reflections on Poetry and Social Class by Gary Lenhart
  • Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies by Robert O'Meally, Brent Hayes Edwards, and Farah Jasmine Griffin
  • Living in Spanglish: The Search for Latino Identity in America by Ed Morales, St. Martin's Press: 2003
  • Production Notebooks Volume 2 by Mark Bly
  • Geography: Art/race/exile by Ralph Lemon and Ann Daly
  • Listen Up! by Zoe Angelsey
  • Girls Guide to Taking Over the World: Writings From The Girl Zine Revolution by Tristan Taormino, Karen Green, and Ann Magnuson
  • Poetry Slam: The Competitive Art of Performance Poetry by Gary Mex Glazner
  • We Who Love to Be Astonished: Experimental Women’s Writing and Performance Poetics. edited by Laura Hinton and Cynthia Hogue.
  • The Muse is Music: Jazz Poetry from the Harlem Renaissance to Spoken Word by Meta DuEwa Jones University of Illinois Press, 2011

External links[edit]

  1. ^ "Tracie Morris". Poetry Foundation. 2016-10-31. Retrieved 2016-10-31. 
  2. ^ "BOMB Magazine — Two Poems by Tracie Morris". Retrieved 2016-10-31. 
  3. ^ "bio, info.". Tracie Morris. Retrieved 2016-10-31.