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A Black woman with locks stands in front of greenery. She wears a black t shirt and has a slight smile on her face

Lauren Whitehead


Lauren Whitehead is a writer, performer and dramaturg. She writes in several forms including poetry, nonfiction, adaptations and drama. Her poems have been published online and in print magazines including POETRY, Apogee Journal and Winter Tangerine, as well as in selected anthologies such as Break Beat Poets, Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic and What Things Cost, the first major anthology of labor writing in nearly a century.

Last year, a poem in dedication to her grandfather who was a barber and a sharecropper was featured on The Slow Down with former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith. In 2018, Whitehead adapted the text of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ award winning memoir, Between the World and Me for staging at the Apollo Theater, the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and for the TV adaptation on HBO. In 2022, Whitehead was a finalist for The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the oldest and largest award for women writing plays in the English language. In her most recent performance, Whitehead originated the lead role of “Un/Sung” in the opera We Shall Not Be Moved, which she performed at the Wilma Theater, the Apollo Theater and at the Stadsschouwburg Theater in Amsterdam (Dir. Bill T. Jones). Whitehead has been a Sundance Theater Lab Fellow, a Sundance Talent Forum Fellow and she has worked as a dramaturg at The Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Hedgebrook and at The Denver Center for Performing Arts. Whitehead works with playwrights and teaches creative writing workshops all over the country. She has been an adjunct professor of playwriting and dramaturgy at The New School and currently, she is an Assistant Arts Professor of Drama at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Photo by Seher.