The Poet’s List: Alysia Harris



Hometown: New York

Quote: “I am a writer. If there is any left over, then I’ll be a woman.” — Alysia Harris

One Accolade: Over 2 million YouTube views

Alysia Harris is a heliotrope. She follows the Son.  She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, with a PhD from Yale University and an is an MFA student at NYU. She studies semantic change and aspectual shift in African American English and the genetic relationships between Semitic language. Though intrigued by the scientific study of language as a linguist, as a poet she uses it as a creative probe to explore the emotional, spiritual, and relational realms of the human experience. Alysia is a two-time national spoken word champion, being a member of the winning BNV 2007 and CUPSI 2007 teams, and  was featured in the HBO Documentary Russell Simmons Presents: Brave New Voices .

She has performed with the likes of Saul Williams, Buddy Wakefield, Carlos Andres Gomez, Anis Mojgani, Rita Dove, and Elizabeth Alexander. Her poems have garnished well over 2 million views on YouTube. Alysia is most passionate about God, love, and poetry. Her biggest loves in life are spontaneous group dance sessions, Hemingway, and clean endings. When not studying or writing, Alysia can be found dancing, Facebook stalking, crying over heartbreak, talking about theology, eating CLIF bars and hanging out in the deserts of the Middle East. She hopes in the future, to move to the North Africa to start a number creative writing programs in the region.

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