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Sunday, October 7 • 9:00am - 10:25am
Performative: Between poetry, performance, and critique

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The concept of an impossible theater has recently been codified in a unique anthology, Imagined Theaters: Writing for a Theoretical Stage (Routledge, 2017). For this volume dozens of writers contributed short works of imagined theater and brief commentary on their own or other’s contributions to the anthology; the writer was thus invited to both envision and critique works for theater that in one way or another exceed the boundaries of theater. These are works that, for instance, “stretch the duration of an event to last a lifetime or to outlive many generations” or produce “great accumulations [that] fill the page with a density that exceeds the carrying capacity of theater.” In general, the texts of such “theater” shift the attention away from theatrical production and dramatic illustration to concepts and the event of writing. This concept of an imagined (or imaginary or impossible) theater is the point of departure for our project, one that we see as a contribution to feminist and queer poetics and poets’ theater. Our cross-generational group of poets wish to amplify the concept of the impossible performance text as collaborative event that investigates non-binary thinking (and modes of being), multi-authorship, and the “impossible” as a medium of poetry. Our text will develop from an exchange of short works of “impossible poetics theater,” such that we are responding multiple times to works that are passed from one collaborator to another: our responses to the received texts can occur as discursive reflection or as creative text. Thus, the group seeks to collapse, embellish, and complicate the relationship of creative work to critique. Our presentation will be an edited version of our combined text, presented in ebullient and edgy dialogue. It will take place in a roundtable format with a series of exchanges amongst the performers.


Mel Elberg

Mel Elberg is a queer poet and artist interested in speculative, intersectional feminisms and in the effect of writing on our experience of time.

Carla Harryman

Eastern Michigan University
Carla Harryman is the author of 20 books of experimental poetry, prose, and performance writing. Her Poets Theater plays, bilingual, and text-based scores have been performed nationally and internationally. Recent publications include Sue in Berlin (2018), a collection of performance... Read More →

Rachel Levitsky

RACHEL LEVITSKY has published three book length collections, Under the Sun (Futurepoem, 2003), NEIGHBOR (UDP, 2009) and the poetic novella, The Story of My Accident is Ours (Futurepoem, 2013) and is author of nine chapbooks, most recently, Hopefully, The Island, part of an ongoing... Read More →

Deborah Meadows

Deborah Meadows is the author of numerous books of poetry and lives with her husband in Los Angeles’ Arts District. Her published plays have had performances and staged readings. Her recent book titled Lecture Notes: A duration poem in twelve parts is derived from public lectures... Read More →

Megan Stockton

Megan Stockton is a poet and publisher living in Detroit, Michigan. She is a member of Problem Press, the previous editor-in-chief of BathHouse Journal, and editor at Weekday Journal. Her writing has been published by Publication Studio, Monster House Press, BigBig Wednesday, Bearings... Read More →

Sunday October 7, 2018 9:00am - 10:25am EDT
136 DeBartolo Hall

Attendees (9)