Poet. Author. Performer.


Duriel E. Harris is a poet, performer, and sound artist. She is author of three print volumes of poetry, including her most recent, No Dictionary of a Living Tongue (Nightboat, 2017), Drag (2003) and Amnesiac: Poems (2010). Multi-genre works include her one-woman theatrical performance Thingification, as well as Speleology (2011), a video collaboration with artist Scott Rankin.  Cofounder of the avant garde poetry/performance trio The Black Took Collective, Harris is showcased in the Poetry Foundation and Manual Cinema’s short film Multitudes celebrating the Walt Whitman BiCentennial.  A featured resident poet/teacher at the Lynden Sculpture Garden and the transformational Naropa Capitalocene Summer Writing Program, Harris was a guest at the powerful Festival Internacional de Poesía de La Habana (Cuba).  Recent writing is featured with Harriet Blog (The Poetry Foundation), the Academy of American Poets, and Letters to the Future: Black WOMEN/Radical WRITING (Kore Press 2018).  Recent and upcoming appearances include performances at the Lake Forest College Allan L. Carr Theatre, the Chicago Jazz Festival (with Douglas Ewart & Inventions), the Greenhouse Theater (Chicago), the Naropa Capitalocene, The Votive Poetics Workshop (New Zealand), and Festival Internacional de Poesía de La Habana (Cuba).

Harris has been a MacDowell and Millay Colony fellow and has received grants from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Cave Canem Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Her work has appeared in numerous venues, including BAXMandorlaThe &Now Awards, Of Poetry & Protest, PloughsharesTroubling the Line, and The Best of Fence; and her compositions have been translated into Polish, German, and Spanish. Harris earned degrees in Literature from Yale University and NYU, and a PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago Program for Writers.

Awarded the George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature at the 2023 AWP conference, Harris is Professor of English at Illinois State University and Editor of the award-winning publishing platform Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora.