Featured in The Guardian, Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Reader, on WBEZ, WTTW, FoxSoul, and on international television and radio, Nikki Patin has been writing, performing, educating, and advocating for over 25 years.

As a queer, non-binary Black femme who is the single parent to a child with autism, Patin has developed and facilitated workshops, spoken on panels, delivered keynotes, and addressed audiences around the world. Her expertise on the historic and current impact of racism, sexual harm, homophobia, ableism, mass incarceration, fatphobia and sizeism has resulted in a unique methodology of writing and performance for healing trauma and shifting culture.

Patin has performed, taught and spoken at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Cook County Jail, Rikers Island prison, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin-Madison, EXPO Chicago, Black Artists Retreat, Brooklyn Museum, and the National Black Theater in Harlem and many other spaces throughout the U.S., New Zealand, and Australia. In 2009, Patin headlined the Phat Grrrl Revolution Tour in New Zealand and Australia. At the Dunedin Fringe Festival, in Dunedin, New Zealand, she was nominated for a Best Performer Award. She was also highlighted in many media outlets throughout New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia, including NO. Magazine, TV3, Radio NZ, and 24/7 Girl Magazine.

 A survivor of both sexual and domestic violence, Patin navigates complex PTSD and uses multiple creative practices as strategies for healing and revolution. In 2014, Patin addressed the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on the historic and current impact of sexual harm on Black girl and women in the U.S.

Nikki Patin holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine, with pieces published by WBEZ, Move to End Violence, the Chicago Reader, Torch Literary Arts, on Public Newsroom, courtesy of City Bureau, and in the anthology, Carving Out Rights from the Prison Industrial Complex. She is the founder of Surviving the Mic, a survivor-led collective that curates performances and workshops for writers and performers who are also survivors of sexual harm. Patin’s debut memoir, Working on Me, is forthcoming from Vine Leaves Press in April 2024.

In addition to Patin’s written and performance work, Patin is also a visual artist. In 2019, Patin was the recipient of the Jackman Goldwasser Residency at Hyde Park Arts Center, where she began developing an ongoing practice of healing, visual meditations, entitled 10,000 Labyrinths.

That practice has become The Revolution Begins Within, a line of products designed to heal herself and others, that support how to get brave and stay lifted.

An accomplished singer/songwriter, Patin has written, produced, and released an EP, Everything’s Just Fine, and a full-length album, Bedroom Empire, on her own label, Phat Grrrl Revolution Records. She has performed as a lead vocalist with several bands, in musical genres ranging from jazz to hip-hop, hard rock to EDM. In 2018, Patin was a recipient of the 3Arts Make A Wave Award in Music.

Patin is an experienced non-profit executive who has sat on multiple funding panels and several boards, with expertise in community engagement, arts program curation and management, youth and community development, marketing, branding, design, and product development. She has worked and collaborated with the Voices and Faces Project, the University of Chicago, After School Matters, Center on Halsted, Black Sex Matters, Beastwomen, the Chicago Reader, the Literati, and many other organizations, artists, publications, and communities.

Patin lives in Lansing, IL, a south suburb of Chicago, with her son, Tobias Langston.

4 thoughts on “About Nikki Patin

  1. Nikki! Yesterday my English teacher showed me your video “sweat”. You don’t understand how inspired i felt! I couldn’t hear the words quite well over the loud roaring of the class. But as soon as i saw the title, i wrote it down. Gurl, work it cause i know you have the power ❤ Those few words i heard from you just brought me to like poetry. & Let me tell you how much i hate(d) poetry. Is there any way i could view/ read the video/ lyrics?

  2. I cried when I read your poem “Surviving Something…” yesterday in the June 11th The Reader. You gave voice, in ink, to many words I’ve heard uttered throughout my 50 something yrs. Most of the times they hurt me deeply, but when I read YOUR words, it felt strange, almost bittersweet. Your art, your work is relevatory.

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