Award-Winning Playwright, Poet, Essayist and Arts Educator
My work primarily focuses on the African-American working class—their hopes, dreams, struggles and aspirations. It is influenced by current events, American history in general, and African-American history in particular. The rhythms and grittiness of Hip-Hop often make their way into how I structure a poem or play. I create a dominant theme, which runs underneath the work like a bass line, and then express various points of view on that theme. As an artist, I am constantly asking questions about the world we live in. I believe that if one digs deep enough into a particular perspective or way of being in the world, it is possible to discern knowledge of what is universal in human nature. I am a child of the Black Arts Movement. While I do not seek to replicate that work the idea of raising consciousness about issues that affect community through art is at the very heart of what I do.
Howard L. Craft is a poet, playwright, and arts educator. He is the author of two books of poetry, Across The Blue Chasm and Raising The Sky. His poetry also appears in Home is Where: An Anthology of African-American poets from the Carolinas edited by Kwame Dawes and Resisting Arrest: Poems to Stretch The Sky edited by Tony Medina. His plays include: FREIGHT: The Five Incarnations of Abel Green, The Miraculous and The Mundane, Orange Light, Caleb Calypso and the Midnight Marauders and Jade City Chronicles Volume 1: The Super Spectacular Badass Herald M. F. Jones which has been adapted to radio and is the first African-American Super Hero Radio Serial.
Craft teaches creative writing in colleges, public, private schools and to adults through the Duke Center for Documentary Studies and various arts councils and organizations. An accomplished writer, Craft has received the N.C. Arts Council Playwriting Fellowship, a Durham Arts Council Emerging Artist Grant, and is a two-time recipient of the N.C. Central University New Play Project, as well as commissions from Universities and professional theater companies. Craft is currently the Piller Professor of the practice for the Writing for the Stage and Screen program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.