Idris Goodwin

Creative Nonfiction Writer, Poet, Spoken Word Artist

Author's Bio

IDRIS GOODWIN is a playwright, rapper and essayist. His plays include HOW WE GOT ON, REMIX 38 (Actors Theater of Louisville); AND IN THIS CORNER: CASSIUS CLAY(StageOne Family Theater), THIS IS MODERN ART co written with Kevin Coval (Steppenwolf Theatre), BLACK FLAG (Summer Shorts/ 59E59Theatre), BLACKADEMICS (MPAACT, Crowded Fire), BARS AND MEASURES ( B Street Theatre, NNPN RWP), THE RAID (Jackalope Theatre) and The REALNESS: a break beat play (Merrimack Repertory Theatre).

Goodwin is one of the six playwrights featured in HANDS UP an anthology commissioned by The New Black Fest. HANDS UP is being presented in theatres and universities across the country.

He is the recipient of Oregon Shakespeare’s American History Cycle Commission, InterAct Theater’s 20/20 Award and a finalist for the Lanford Wilson Award. Goodwin has been a writer in residence at The Eugene O'Neil Playwrights Center, Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor Program, The Lark Playwriting Center and New Harmony Project.

An accomplished spoken word performer and break beat poet, his albums include BREAK BEAT POEMS and RHYMING WHILE BLACK. Goodwin was featured on HBO, Sesame Street and Discovery Channel. He is the author of the pushcart nominated essay collection THESE ARE THE BREAKS (Write Bloody, 2011) and his work is anthologized widely.

Idris is the co host and contributor to CRITICAL KARAOKE, a radio show and podcast about music and culture. Idris teaches performance writing and Hip Hop aesthetics at Colorado College.

Publications & Prizes

Creative Nonfiction

These Are the Breaks (Write Bloody Publishing, 2011)
A View From the Loft


A Storm Between Fingers: Malika's Kitchen (Flipped eye, 2007)
Blood Lotus
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MAKE: A Chicago Literary Magazine
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xcp: Cultural Poetics

Spoken Word

Humana Festival 2012: the complete plays - How We Got On (Playscripts, Inc, 2013)
Spoken Word Revolution Redux (Sourcebooks, 2007)
Outpost Performance Space (2009)
Wilmette Theater (2009)
High Mayhem Emerging Arts Festival, Warehouse 21 - Sante Fe, NM (2008)
Just Bust!, University of Wisconsin - Madison (2008)
Non English Speaking Spoken Here: The Late Nite Series, Pillsbury House Theater - Minneapolis, MN (2008)
Traffic Series, Steppenwolf Theater - Chicago, IL (2008)
Washington Jefferson College - Washington, PA (2008)
HBO Def Poetry, Season Six (2007)
Millenium Park - Chicago, IL (2007)
Lip Reading Series, Poetry Center - Chicago, IL (2006)
Prizes won: 

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

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
African American
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Raised in: 
Chicago, IL
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Jun 30, 2016