Kenzie Allen

poet & multimodal artist



essays & memoir

academic articles

  • “Poetry as a Gathering Space: a review of Molly McGlennen’s Creative Alliances: The Transnational Designs of Indigenous Women’s Poetry,” Studies in American Indian Literature, 30.3-4 Fall-Winter 2018, Print.

exhibitions / visual

  • “Water Basket,” visual poetry sculpture. “Art of the Native Peoples” exhibition, Galena Center for the Arts, Galena, IL, Oct 2018 – Jan 2019.
  • “I Wrote You Poems Across Texas,” photographs. “PHOTOGRAPHY NOW!” exhibition, hosted by Ozier Muhammad, Kweli Journal International Literary Festival, Raw Space Gallery, Harlem, NY, May 2018.
  • “Water Basket,” visual poetry sculpture. “(About that) Water Is Life” exhibition, presented by Heid. E. Erdrich, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Summer 2017.

opera & lyric

  • Letters I Don’t Send,” new music libretto, composed by Dylan Arthur Baker for the Black House Collective’s 2015 New Music Workshop in Kansas City, MO.
  • Who Married Star Husbands” chamber opera libretto, composed by Shuying Li for Vocalypse’s Opera From Scratch in Nova Scotia, for two sopranos, baritone and piano, Spring 2014. Additional Performances: Composers Conference (Wellesley College, 2015), Midwest Composer’s Symposium (2017), “New in November” (Hartford Opera Theater, 2018).
  • “New Episodes,” art song, composed by Shuying Li. Performed at University of Michigan’s Word Up! Concert, April 20th, 2014.
  • “LIKE, the opera,” libretto & animation, composed by Dylan Arthur Baker, for soprano, alto and baritone, utilizing overhead projection screen for animation of accompanying social media meta-commentary and digital audiovisuals. Performed at University of Michigan’s “Words & Music” workshop, Spring 2014.
  • “The Opera Singer,” opera scene, composed by Dylan Arthur Baker, for soprano and baritone. Performed by Natasha Drake at University of Michigan’s “Words & Music” workshop, Spring 2014.
  • Mein Mädchen,” an aria, composed by Daniel Sottile, for soprano and celesta. Performed by Natasha Drake at University of Michigan’s “Words & Music” workshop, Spring 2014.

conferences & presentations

  • “Mapping Wampum: Storytelling & Sovereignty in Indigenous Poetry,” craft talk & poetry reading / research presentation, Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Languages (CIKL) at York University, Toronto, ON; Sept 26, 2022.
  • “Indigenous Storytelling & Poetics: Strategies for Writing Histories,” panel member, Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, PA; March 2022.
  • “Native American Storytelling & Poetry: Writing into New Vocabularies,” presentation. Indigenous International Exchange Program hosted by York University, online; Oct 27, 2021.
  • “Wampum: a multimodal book of poetry and ethnographic memoir,” creative works presentation. NAISA annual conference, Online/Remote; June 2021.
  • “The Role of Superheroes in an Age of Fascism and Authoritarianism” and “Asian American Superhero Characters and Creators,” panel member. DePaul Pop Culture Conference: Superheroes Edition; Chicago, IL, May 2020, abstract accepted. Conference cancelled.
  • “‘Good Words’: Alternative Storytelling Methods in Indigenous Poetry,” paper presentation. NAISA annual conference, Toronto, Canada; May 2020, abstract accepted. Conference cancelled.
  • “Native Waves: A Craft Talk on the State of Contemporary Aesthetics of Native American Writing,” with Erika T. Wurth, and David Weiden. Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, VT; March 2020.
  • “Good Words: Traumatic Source Materials and the Researcher’s Affect in Indigenous Creative Ethnography,” presentation and talk. Affect Theory & Praxis: Transdisciplinary Methodologies workshop, Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway; Fall 2018.
  • “Works in Progress. Writers on Process.” panel & reading of photo-memoir, Kweli Journal International Literary Festival, New York, NY; Summer 2018. Moderated by Cecca Ochoa.
  • “Why Start A Literary Magazine,” panel member. Association of Writers & Writing Programs Annual Conference, Tampa Bay, FL; 2018.
  • “Discarding the Cloak of Invisibility: A Candid Look at the Whitewashing in the Potterverse,” panel member. Harry Potter and the Pop Culture Conference, DePaul University, Chicago, IL; 2017.
  • “Writing as Refugees: Collective Trauma & Impossible Return,” panel member. Association of Writers & Writing Programs Annual Conference, Washington D.C.; 2017.
  • “Facebook and the MFA Admissions Process,” panel member. Association of Writers & Writing Programs Annual Conference, Chicago, IL; 2013.

awards & residencies

  • Hedgebrook Residency recipient, Summer/Fall 2023
  • nominee, Pushcart Prizes, via Radar Poetry, “In Which I Am Told I Have Many”
  • Finalist, Coniston Prize from Radar Poetry (2022).
  • Best New Poets 2022. “Quiet as Thunderbolts,” selected by Paula Bohince.
  • Finalist, National Poetry Series, for Cloud Missives (2022)
  • The 49th Parallel Award in Poetry – Bellingham Review (2022)
  • James Welch Prize for Indigenous Poets – Poetry Northwest & In-Na-Po (2021)
  • “Discovery” Joan Leiman Jacobson Poetry Prize – 92NY Unterberg Poetry Center (2021)
  • English Department Poetry Prize – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2019)
  • nominee, Best New Poets 2018, via Saw Palm, “Shadowboxes.”
  • 30 Below 30 in Narrative, for “How to Be A Real Indian,” 2017.
  • Best New Poets 2016. “In Which I Become (Tiger Lily)” selected by Mary Szybist.
  • Top 25 Poems of the Year 2016 in Boston Review, for “Token” and “How the Skin Bruises If You Lie There Long Enough.”
  • Top 5 Poem of the Week 2015-2016 in Narrative, for “How to Be A Real Indian.”
  • nominee, Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net 2016 anthology, via Hermeneutic Chaos, “Orange Moon Over Johnson.”
  • nominee, Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net 2016 anthology, via Contrary, “Palpitations & Seizures.”
  • nominee, Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net 2016 anthology, via TheThe Poetry Blog, “Beat Me To Grandma’s, I Dare You.”
  • finalist, The Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellowships, 2016.
  • nominee, Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net 2015 anthology, via Thank You For Swallowing, “When Does That Happen.”
  • nominee, Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net 2015 anthology, via DIALOGIST, “Dress Like Pocahontas, Then Let’s Make Love.”
  • finalist, Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest 2015
  • runner-up, “Discovery” / Boston Review Poetry Contest, 2015
  • finalist, The Puritan‘s Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence 2014
  • Littoral Press Poetry Prize – Littoral Press, selected by Gary Young
  • Helen S. and John Wagner Award – University of Michigan (2014) – Hopwood Awards 1st prize in graduate poetry
  • Hopwood Award in Graduate Non-fiction – University of Michigan (2014)
  • Michael R. Gutterman Award in Poetry – University of Michigan (2014), for experimental writing
  • Meader Family Award – University of Michigan (2013)
  • Vermont Studio Center Helen Zell Residency Fellowship (August 2013)
  • Dzanc Disquiet International Literary Program in Lisbon scholarship (July 2013)
  • Aspen Summer Words Emerging Writers Fellowship from the Aspen Writers’ Foundation (June 2013)
  • finalist, The Iowa Review Awards 2013
  • finalist, Dzanc Disquiet International Literary Award 2013
  • finalist, Barely South Norton Girault Literary Prize 2013
  • 2nd prize Sonora Review Annual Contest 2013, selected by Dawn Lundy Martin




  • Visiting Writer Reading, with Erika T. Wurth and David Heska Wanbli Weiden. Vermont College of Fine Arts, March 27, 2020.
  • BONK! Reading & Music Performance, with Gint Aras and Koku Gonza. Racine, WI, February 25, 2017, with video.
  • United We Read UWM student & faculty reading, with Caleb Nelson, Sherri Hoffman, and Lane Hall. Milwaukee, WI, February 16, 2017.
  • Off-site Reading with Iron Horse Literary Magazine, grist, and Nashville Review, at AWP ’17, February 10, 2017.
  • Poets in Pajamas Reading Series #3: Kenzie Allen, online reading via Periscope, November 13, 2016, with video (starts at 21:43).
  • Poetry Reading at Indian Summer Festival, with Franklin Cline. Milwaukee, WI, September 11, 2016.
  • Helen Zell Postgraduate Fellows Reading Series, Western/Americana Edition, with Nate Marshall and Joe Horton. Ann Arbor, MI, November 4, 2014.
  • Mark Webster Reading Series, with Chigozie Obioma. Ann Arbor, MI, February 21, 2014.
  • Off-site Reading with Sonora Review at AWP ’13, Chicago IL,  March 15, 2013.

visual poetics


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