Kristiana Colón is a Chicago poet, playwright, actor, educator, and Ensemble member at Teatro Luna, Chicago’s all-Latina theatre company. In February and March 2013, she toured the UK with her collection of poems promised instruments published by Northwestern University Press. In autumn 2012, she opened her one-woman show Cry Wolf in Chicago while her play but i cd only whisper had its world premiere in London at the Arcola Theater. Kristiana is also a talented lyricist in the brother/sister hip-hop duo April Fools whose rhymes can be heard at aprilfoolschicago.bandcamp.com. She has been featured on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and has shared stages with highly acclaimed writers Marc Smith, the creator of the worldwide ‘poetry slam’ phenomenon, Haki Madhubuti, Patricia Smith, Sonia Sanchez, Malik Yusef, Kevin Coval, Tara Betts, and has opened for De La Soul, Grammy-nominated band Ozomatli and internationally-acclaimed comedian Damon Williams.
In autumn 2012, TimeOut London gave Kristiana’s world premiere of but i cd only whisper a four-star review and OffWestEnd.com nominated her Most Promising New Playwright. Kristiana’s short plays have appeared in Rebel Theater’s Sunday Reading Series in New York, American Theater Company’s The Silver Project, Teatro Luna’s 10 x 10 Festival in conjunction with the Goodman’s Latino Theater Festival, Dramatist Personae’s Artist Gumbo series and Simple Theater’s K.I.S.S. festival. Her play one week in spring was a finalist for Victory Gardens’ Ignition festival. Her first play but i cd only whisper was the 2nd place winner of the 2008 Theodore Ward Playwriting contest and was workshopped at the Lincoln Center’s Director’s Lab in New York. Her play the darkest pit had its world premiere at the Prop Thtr in 2009.
Kristiana has served as Playwright in Residence at University of Illinois-Chicago and as adjunct faculty English and Humanities at North Park University, Chicago State University, Malcolm X College, and Tribeca Flashpoint Academy. She is proud to have been nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize for her poem “severance” in Organs of Vision and Speech, as well as see her work anthologized in Dzanc Books’ Best of the Web 2010 and Haven Books’ Not a Muse collection. Kristiana’s work is also featured in Saul Williams’ anthology, Chorus: A Literary (Re)Mixtape, released by MTV Publishing in Summer 2012. Other recent publications include Pank, African American Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, and the Logan Square Literary Review, among several other online and print journals. Kristiana is also an Assistant Editor for Muzzle, an online literary magazine.
In addition to recording, publishing, and performing, Kristiana also spends some time teaching performance poetry, drama, and other forms of creative writing at inner-city schools to talented youth ages 6 – 18. Kristiana holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from the School of the Art Institute Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature/Creative Writing from the University of Chicago. She believes in the power of art as an educational tool and is committed to arts integration as a way to reinvigorate the learning experience, build social awareness, and provoke critical analysis of the world in which we live.