Idris Goodwin


Author's Bio

Idris Goodwin is an award winning playwright, essayist, and spoken word artist. His play How We Got On, developed at The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, premiered at Actors Theatre of Louisville's 2012 Humana Festival. Nominated for an ATCA Steinberg New Play Award and published by Playscripts, How We Got On is being remounted across the country. Goodwin was back at Humana Festival this year as co-writer of Remix 38. Upcoming productions include: This is Modern Art at Steppenwolf Theater and And in this corner…Cassius Clay at StageOne. He holds writing commissions from B Street Theater and InterAct (as recipient of their annual 20/20 Award). Goodwin has been a writer in residence at Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor Program, The Kennedy Center and New Harmony Project. Goodwin is a Core Writer with The Playwrights' Center and a proud member of the Dramatist Guild. An accomplished poet and essayist, his book These Are The Breaks was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He's performed on HBO, Discovery Channel, and Sesame Street. Goodwin teaches performance writing and hip hop aesthetics at Colorado College.

Publications and Prizes


These Are the Breaks
(Write Bloody Publishing,


Spoken Word Revolution Redux
A Storm Between Fingers: Malika's Kitchen
(Flipped eye,
Humana Festival 2012: the complete plays - How We Got On
(Playscripts, Inc,


xcp: Cultural Poetics
MAKE: A Chicago Literary Magazine
Blood Lotus
A View From the Loft

Spoken Word Performance

HBO Def Poetry, Season Six
Non English Speaking Spoken Here: The Late Nite Series, Pillsbury House Theater - Minneapolis, MN
Traffic Series, Steppenwolf Theater - Chicago, IL
High Mayhem Emerging Arts Festival, Warehouse 21 - Sante Fe, NM
Millenium Park - Chicago, IL
Washington Jefferson College - Washington, PA
Just Bust!, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Lip Reading Series, Poetry Center - Chicago, IL
Wilmette Theater
Outpost Performance Space
Future Aesthetics Artist Re-grant, Ford Foundation/Hip Hop Theater Fest, 2008 Wallace W. Douglas Distinguished Service Award for excellence in teaching, 2008 Orgie Theatre Award For Innovative Chicago Theater, 2008 Illinois Arts Council Ethnic Folk Arts Award, 2007 National Showcase of New Plays (“Braising”), Stanford University, 2005 National Endowment for the Arts/TCG Playwriting Residency Grant, 2004-2005

More Information

Listed as:
Creative Nonfiction Writer, Poet, Spoken Word Artist
Gives readings? 
Travels for readings? 
Identifies as: 
African American
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Detroit, MI
Raised in: 
Chicago, IL

Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Listing last updated: May 23, 2014.

Current Issue

Cover Story 

Our Independent Publishing Issue features an in-depth interview with Graywolf Press editor Jeff Shotts; a look at the successful partnerships of eleven small-press authors and their editors; a profile of indie essayist Charles D'Ambrosio; Donald Hall recalls a golden age of American poetry; best-selling author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore on the rewards of self-promotion; advice for self-published authors; a conversation with Guernica publisher Lisa Lucas; and much more.

Finding Gems in Lost & Found

by Rebecca Bates

News and Trends

Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

The Center for Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City is making the ephemeral more tangible through its Lost & Found chapbook series.


Let's Just Do This: Eleven Small-Press Authors and their Publishing Partners

by Kevin Larimer

Special Section

Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

Eleven small-press authors and their publishing partners discuss the independent approach—and all the passion, commitment, and love that comes with it—to bringing books into the world.


Agents & Editors: Jeff Shotts

by Michael Szczerban

Special Section

Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

Graywolf Press executive editor Jeff Shotts discusses the power of patience in publishing, editing as an act of empathy, and why it’s an exciting time to be a poet.