about them

NOVA CYPRESS BLACK is the quiet one yo mama warned you about. This collage of Midwest tranquility, Southern hospitality, & East Coast grit writes, dances, & teaches from a Black queer womanist lens. NOVA is a slant rhyme. a silver lining. a fistful of sunflower seeds. Their name is written in all caps as a reminder to take up space. 

This MFA drop out is currently signed to Damn Write Originals, a Black-owned independent screenwriting label. NOVA was 1 of 10 writers selected to participate in the inaugural Hillman Grad Mentorship Lab. They are also training to become an Intimacy Coordinator.

As a choreopoet, NOVA's investment in the dynamic relationship between movement & verse propels their kinetic experimentation of a poem’s mobility on the page, in the mouth & throughout the body. NOVA utilizes 15 years of dance training & teaching to compose choreography obsessed with blurring genre, full body listening, honoring gestures of the working class & manifesting liberation. Their full-length choreopoems include “another goddamn lesbian movie / a chorepoem.” (summer 2017, NYC) and “somewheres: a world-in-progress” (spring 2020, NYC).

NOVA’s commitment to arts education is illustrated through their freelance teaching artist work with the following organizations, in the areas of creative writing, dance, theater, social justice, & sex education: Ballet After Dark (Virtual); The Shed (NYC); Girl Be Heard (NYC); August Wilson Cultural Center (Pittsburgh, PA); Veteran Affairs Hospital (Pittsburgh, PA) Urban Arts Partnership (NYC); The Poetry Society of America (NYC); Sadie Nash Leadership Project (NYC); Dancewave (NYC); New Jersey Performing Arts Center (Newark, NJ); & Big Brothers Big Sisters (NYC).

This nomadic Libra is currently based in Atlanta, GA where they sleep with a stuffed giraffe named Kwasi (her/she), pledge allegiance to sweet plantains & existentially spiral in therapy. 

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publications
*published under dead name (nicole shanté white) 

Zone 3 Press | 2021

"How to Make a Playlist" - Winner of Annual Broadside Competition

580 Split |  Issue 24: Push Black | 2021

"Ad-Lib"; "EXT. HERE - DAY"

Wall Street Journal | 2016

 “Snowflake July”*

photo by J.Weary 

fellowships/residencies/
certifications/education

Hillman Grad Productions | Hillman Grad Mentorship | Virtual | 2021

TV Writer Mentee - Drama 

Intimacy Directors & Coordinators; Theatrical Intimacy Education | Virtual | 2021

Intimacy Coordinator-in-training

University Settlement | The Performance Project | NYC | 2020

Emerging Guest Artist: Choreopoet

Reel Sisters & BRIC | Screenwriting Lab | Brooklyn, NY | 2019

Student - Drama; Instructor: Valerie C. Woods

Script Anatomy | Televisionary | Brooklyn, NY | 2019

Student - Drama; Instructor: Alyson Feltes

Brooklyn Arts Exchange | Needing It: A Helix Queer Performance Network Workshop Residency | Brooklyn, NY  | 2018

Participant; Instructor: Heather María Ács

Millennium Dance Complex | Certificate Program | Pittsburgh, PA | 2018

Dancer/Receptionist

Cave Canem | Summer Retreat | Greensburg, PA 2017

Poetry Fellow

The Poetry Project | Emerge-Surface-Be Fellowship | NYC | 2017

Poetry Fellow; Mentor: r. erica doyle

KUKUWA® Fitness | NYC | 2016

KUKUWA® African Dance Fitness Instructor Certification

Mark Morris Dance Center | Work/Study | Brooklyn, NY | 2016

Dancer/Receptionist

Willow Arts Alliance | Weeksville Summer Arts Residency | Brooklyn, NY | 2016

Poetry Resident; Instructor: aracelis girmay

Tribeca Performing Arts Center | Writers In Performance Workshop | NYC | 2016

Writer-in-Performance; Instructor: Mario Giacalone 

Poets House | Emerging Poets Fellowship | NYC | 2016

Emerging Poet; Instructor: Adam Fitzgerald

Georgia State University | Atlanta, GA | 2015

B.A.: Creative Writing (Poetry) & Women's Studies 

Milwaukee High School of the Arts | Milwaukee, WI | 2010

HS Diploma: Creative Writing & Dance