Kenzie Allen

poet & multimodal artist


Kenzie Allen is an Assistant Professor of English at York University, specializing in Creative Writing and Indigenous Literatures. Her research centers on documentary and visual poetics, literary cartography, and the enactment of Indigenous sovereignties through creative works. She is a descendant of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.

Kenzie is the recipient of the James Welch Prize for Indigenous Poets and a 92Y Discovery / Joan Leiman Jacobson Poetry Prize, and her poems can be found in The Iowa ReviewIndiana ReviewNarrative Magazine, Black Warrior Review, Boston Review, and other venues. Kenzie received her PhD in English & Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she was an R1-Advanced Opportunity Program Fellow, Chancellor’s Award recipient, and a TA in American Indian Studies. She received her MFA in Poetry from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at University of Michigan (‘14), and her BA in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis (’10). She is the managing editor of Anthropoid and the founder of Apiary Lit. Born in West Texas, she now shares time between Toronto, Ontario; Trondheim, Norway; and the Oneida reservation in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Previously, Kenzie has contributed to technology startups as a web, product, and ui/ux designer. She is a member of the High Plains Society for Applied Anthropology, and she serves as an archivist and volunteer fire lookout for the Sand Mountain Society. She is at work on her first manuscript in poetry, a multimodal chapbook of Texas poems, and a memoir about blood quantum.


  • PhD – University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, English & Creative Writing (Poetry), 2016-2020
    • Cognate Areas: Contemporary Native American Literature, Documentary Poetics, Visual Poetics; Dissertation Manuscript: Wampum
    • R1-Advanced Opportunity Program Fellow (2019-2020); Advanced Opportunity Program Fellow (2016-2019); Chancellor’s Award (2016)
  • MFA – University of Michigan, Helen Zell Writers’ Program (Poetry), 2014
    • Zell Postgraduate Fellowship (Poetry, 2014-2015); Postgraduate manuscript: Ann Arbor Venus Walks Into A Bar
    • Zell Graduate Fellow (2012-2014); Thesis: Firewater, Hopwood Award 1st prize (Helen S. & John Wagner Award)
  • BA – Washington University in St. Louis (Anthropology, minor in Writing), 2010
    • Archaeological Field school with John Kelly, Cahokia Mounds, IL

other fellowships & residencies

  • AWP Writer to Writer Mentorship with Ernestine Hayes, fall 2014
  • Vermont Studio Center Helen Zell Fellowship, 2013
  • Aspen Summer Words Fellow, 2013
  • Dzanc Disquiet International Literary Prize, scholarship, 2013

>> teaching & work experience here