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Darrel Alejandro Holnes

Part-time Faculty
(212) 998-7333
1 Wash Pl, Room 603

Office Hours
Tuesday 5-6:20

M.F.A. Creative Writing, University of Michigan
B.A. English, University of Houston

Darrel Alejandro Holnes is a poet and playwright from Panama City, Panama, and the former Panama Canal Zone. His plays have won or been a finalist for various awards and honors including the Princess Grace Award in Playwriting, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference, Best New Play award from Wichita State University, Farrar Prize in Playwriting and Hopwood Award in Drama at the University of Michigan and various grants including a Kitchen Theater Company New Play Development Grant, Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation Production Grant, and the Jerome Foundation Travel Grant. They have been presented as part of KCACTF, NOW African Playwrights Festival, Brick Theater's Festival of Lies, Keep Soul Alive! at the National Black Theater, and elsewhere nationwide. He is also a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Musical Theatre Factory’s POC Roundtable, Page 73’s Interstate 73 writers’ group, and Stillwater Writers Workshop. His poetry has been published in American Poetry Review, Poetry Magazine, Callaloo, Best American Experimental Writing, and elsewhere in print and online. He is the recipient of various awards in poetry including the C.P. Cavafy Poetry Prize from Poetry International. He's also the recipient of scholarships to Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Canto Mundo, Cave Canem, VCFA Postgraduate Writers Conference, and various residencies including the Cave Canem Residency at Washington College. His academic excellence, activism, and work in arts administration have been recognized by the White House, Veterans of Foreign War, US Congress, and with many residencies, fellowships, and awards. He studied creative writing at the Universities of Houston and Michigan, the latter from which he received his Masters of Fine Arts degree and won a Zell Post Graduate Award, among other awards. Holnes is the editor and co-author of various books and has worked as a consultant to the United Nations. Check him out at and follow him around the world @blackboytraveljoy via Instagram.



PRIME: Poetry & Conversation

Saeed Jones, Ricky Laurentiis, Phillip B. Williams, L. Lamar Wilson, and Darrel Alejandro Holnes' poetry in, PRIME: Poetry & Conversation, was published by Sibling Rivalry Press LLC.


On Poetics, Identity & Latinidad: CantoMundo Poets Speak Out

Millicent Borges Accardi, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Amy Sayre Baptista, David Tomas Martinex, Ruben Quesada, and Darrel Alejandro Holnes' poetry in, On Poetics, Identity & Latinidad: CantoMundo Poets Speak Out was published by Essay Press.

Teaching and Research Interests

playwriting; poetry; performance art; transnational identity and issues; immigration; military culture; intersectionality; queer, Latino, and African diaspora studies; wellness, art as healing; ethnographic writing; historical fiction; textuality as visual art; music and musical theater

Recent News


Professor Darrel Alejandro Holnes has been awarded a 2019 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Holnes is among 35 recipients chosen from nearly 1,700 eligible applicants selected through a highly-competitive, anonymous, nationwide process. Works are judged solely on the artistic excellence of the work sample provided. Holnes is the first Panamanian-American to receive this fellowship.

Holnes was awarded a 2016 Cave Canem Summer Residency at the Rose O'Neill Literary House.

Holnes has been named a member of Page 73's Interstate 73 Writers Group and last summer became a member of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab. In 2017, he was named a finalist for the Van Lier Fellowship at The Lark Play Development Center and the 2050 Fellowship at New York Theater Workshop and for the Princess Grace Award in Playwriting.  


Professor Holnes, along with Bhikshuni Weisbrot, and Elizabeth Lara, edited an anthology of poetry to honor of the UN International Day of Happiness, Happiness: The Delight-Tree, An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry (United Nations SRC Society of Writers, 2015).


Holnes presented "Beyond the BluePrint: A Poetry Reading and Panel Discussion on The Reconstructed Self" at Thinking Is Presence, University of Arizona, Poetry Center 2017 in Tucson, Arizona.

Darrel Alejandro Holnes