Kelly Tsai is an artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work as a performance poet has been featured at over 700 venues worldwide including the White House, HBO, and MTV Iggy. Her work as a filmmaker has been screened at film festivals both in the US and abroad and won awards at Media That Matters & UrbanWorld VIBE. Her work as an interdisciplinary performance artist has been developed and presented nationally and internationally via New York Live Arts, Brooklyn Museum, HERE, Ars Nova, Culture Project, Taipei Poetry Festival and more. Her artistic mediums span screen, print, live performance, and new media. Her work has been profiled by media including Forbes, NPR, New York Daily News, Huffington Post, NBC News, Gothamist, NY1, C-SPAN, and HBO.

She is currently working on her memoir, The Invisible Word, and a new electronic music project. 

Biographical Info

Presenters & Venues (Selected Listing) 


American Association of University Women's Woman of Distinction Award
Americorps Alums National Leader Award
Media that Matters Film Festival War & Peace Award
Outstanding Asian American Alumni of the Year, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Artist Fellowships & Workshops

Callaloo (Fiction)
Cave Canem (Poetry) 
Kundiman (Poetry)
New York Foundation for the Arts (Non-Fiction Literature / Memoir)
Rising Circle PlayRISE (Playwriting)
Voices of Our Nation Foundation (Poetry)

Artist Grants & Residencies

Asian American Arts Alliance
Asian Women’s Giving Circle
Illinois Arts Council
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
New York Foundation for the Arts
New York Live Arts
Poets & Writers


2nd Round, Sundance Screenwriters Lab
2nd Round, Hedgebrook Screenwriters Lab
Finalist, Public Theater Emerging Writers Group
Finalist, Creative Capital
Finalist, New York Theater Workshop Emerging Fellows of Color 

Juror / Artistic Panels

Brooklyn Arts Council
Leeway Foundation
The Loft Literary Fellowship
Maryland State Arts Council