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Alphabet Theater
Meredith Stricker

Wesleyan Poetry Series

2003 • 108 pp. 30 illus. 6 x 9"

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6523-5

“Meredith Stricker’s boldly original mixed media performance poetry captures a choreography of words, their desire. ... they transport the reader off the page.”Anomaly

Intelligent, emotionally engaging multi-media performance poetry.

A mixed-media tour de force, Alphabet Theater breaks open the page to extend poetic practice into the realms of visual art and performance. Its complex and innovative format layers poetry, video stills, drawing and collages in pieces that range from performance art to opera and political theater. The book's four distinctive sections encompass four separate performances. In "The Poor Body," first performed in collaboration with choreographer Elizabeth Lahey, the text alternates with video stills of movement. "The Lightning Hive" is a “semiotic opera” swarming with letters and bees in motion, accompanied by staging notes and drawings. The performance space "The Still Place" is the page itself, exploring the fragile border between the “I” and the “not-I.” Finally, "Read My Apocalypse," is a performance that tracks the months preceding the Gulf War in a kind of desperate vaudeville with material and references ranging from Milton and apocalypse psychology to Pat Robertson, Love Canal and W.C. Williams. This book is a thoroughly engaging transit through the landscapes of contemporary culture and relationships.

Reviews / Endorsements

“In this multidimensional book, the alphabet is alive and ‘bees are letters in flight.’ Meredith Stricker aspires to speak in ultraviolet light as she moves to transpose the search for a new poetic language to the living sphere.”Cecilia Vicuña, author of QUIPOem

“In Stricker's alphabet theater, language acts, interacts, and activates. Giving body to hives and highways, weather and war, her poems perform the co-arising of word and world and ask how to begin our liberation from force.”Adalaide Morris, John C. Gerber Professor of English, University of Iowa

MEREDITH STRICKLER is an artist and poet living on California’s Central Coast. She is a partner in an art and architecture studio, and is developing the Center for Visual Poetry to bring together artists, writers and experimental forms. Her previous collection of poetry and images was selected as a finalist for the National Poetry Series Award.

Thu, 6 Sep 2018 11:02:47 -0500