Howard Craft reading outside

For the Love of Words

Readings • Writing Workshops • Residencies

Howard L. Craft

Award-Winning Playwright, Poet, Essayist and Arts Educator
Howard L. Craft is a father, husband, poet, playwright, and arts educator. He is the author of a book of poems, Across The Blue Chasm. His poetry also appears in Home is Where: An Anthology of African-American poets from the Carolinas, edited by Kwame Dawes.

His plays include: “Caleb Calypso and the Midnight Marauders”, “The House of George ”, “Stealing Clouds ”, a children’s musical entitled “Indigo Blue”, and “Freight: The Five Incarnations of Abel Green”.

Craft’s 2010 play, “Jade City Chronicles Vol 1”, sparked Craft and WUNC host Frank Stasio to create the first African-American Super Hero Radio Serial entitled The Jade City Pharaoh which is currently in it’s second season.

Craft teaches creative writing in colleges, public, private schools and to adults through the North Carolina Writers Network , 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 numerous commissions from universities and professional theaters.


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 play. I create a dominant theme, which runs underneath the work like a bass line, and then my characters express various points of view on that theme. The structure is reminiscent of how different lyricists approach the same beat on a drum track. As a playwright, I am constantly asking questions about the world we live in through my characters and the situations in which they find themselves. 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 and steer away from the didactic, the idea of raising consciousness about issues that affect community through theatre is very much present in my plays.

Portfolio pic, Workshops & Residences

Workshops & Residences

Portfolio pic, Readings

Readings, College-Art Council Residences

Portfolio pic, Graphic Novel Workshop

Radio Drama &
Graphic Novel Workshops

Portfolio pic, Books


Portfolio pic, Herald Jones Radio

Radio Broadcast

Portfolio pic, Productions


About Me

Howard Craft and son looking forward

My father would get up around 4am in the morning; fix himself some hot tea with a little sugar and carnation milk. He’d sit, gather his papers, notes from magazines and spiral binders and he’d work on his novel for two hours, before waking me for school and going to work. He was never able to finish his novel but everyday before he got sick this was his routine. What I learned as I became a writer was writing is not a choice, it’s not something that you choose to do. It’s something that you have to do, like breathing. We inhale the world, the happenings in our lives and the lives of those around us. These sometime very ordinary and sometime very spectacular wonders mix with our imagination, creativity, voice, and souls. What we exhale are the stories, the poems and the dramas we hope will connect with someone else and offer them a smile or move them deeply; that will make them laugh hysterically, cry compassionately or rage defiantly. I write not simply because I have something to say, but because I have to say it and if I don’t say it, I will go the way of Langston Hughes dream, I’ll either dry up like a raisin in the sun or I’ll explode.

"Craft’s is a voice we will want to hear again."    --Kate Dobbs Ariail
“Taking It to the Mattress” at the Paris Review Daily
Howard L. Craft Playwright, poet, teacher
The Process Series and Howard Craft
Howard L. Craft's smart, knowing Jade City Chronicles, Volume 1
Black Superhero fan


Freight: The Five Incarnations of Abel Green
Swain Hall, Studio Six on the UNC Campus
Freight: The Five Incarnations of Abel Green tells the story of an African American male who exists in five different dimensions of the same universe at different points in American history. In each incarnation – minstrel, cult leader, FBI informant, struggling actor, out-of-work mortgage broker – Abel finds himself stuck somewhere between the American Dream and the American Nightmare and as he navigates some very gray areas we witness the trials of a simple man trying to make decisions that will allow him to survive in what the great African American poet Claude McKay referred to as “this cultured hell that tests my youth.”
Get your tickets while they last.
Categories: One-person play, J. Alphone Nicholson, Joseph Megel, Piedmont Performance Factory

Honors & Awards

2011 Durham Arts Council Emerging Artist Grant
2009 Caleb Calypso & The Midnight Marauders (play) best original script,Independent Weekly
2007 Meritorious Achievement Award for Excellence from The Kennedy American College Theatre Festival for Karen Dacons-Brock for the direction of the play Lonely Words.
2005 The Wise Ones (play) selected in top ten productions by The Raleigh News and Observer
2004 North Carolina Playwriting Fellowship, N.C. Arts Council
2003 Indies Art Award, Independent Weekly
2003 New Play Project Winner, North Carolina Central University Dept. of Theatre
2002 The House of George (play) chosen as entry in Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, North Carolina Central University Dept. of Theatre
2002 The House of George (play) best original script, Independent Weekly
2001 New Play Project Winner, North Carolina Central University Dept. of Theatre


Howard L. Craft / For the Love of Words
Durham, NC 27702 , USA

Telephone: +1-919-358-9287
Fax: +1-919-484-2631

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