McKenzie Chinn

An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.
— Nina Simone
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photo by josh wool

photo by josh wool

photo by joe mazza

photo by joe mazza

the work

McKenzie is an actor, filmmaker, poet, and educator based in Chicago. She is the writer, producer, and lead actor of the feature film Olympia with The Line Films/30 Pictures, which premiered at the 2018 LA Film Festival.

She has appeared in independent film and on television, including work with up and coming director Sam Bailey (Brown Girls), a recurring role on CBS’ The Red Line. On stage she has worked with Victory Gardens, Steppenwolf, and Goodman Theatres, as well as The Second City in Chicago, and Woolly Mammoth and The Studio Theatre in Washington, DC.

An accomplished poet, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in TriQuarterly, PANK, RATTLE, Crab Fat Magazine, and others. McKenzie’s poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best New Poets, and Best of the Net.

She is a 2015 Leonore Annenberg Artist Fellow and is part of the acclaimed Growing Concerns Poetry Collective with hip-hop artist Mykele Deville and musician Jeff Austin. The collective released its inaugural album, WE HERE: Thank you for Noticing, in 2017, and published its first book of poems Five Fifths through Candor Arts in 2018.