"Attending Word Performances is something akin to finding yourself inside a marvelous Literary Carnival where a cavalcade of uber-talented players delight, amuse, enlighten, play, sing, dance, revel; add in the lovely intimacy of The Lost Church with its Lynchian burlesque charm to the evening’s fun and you have a perfect backdrop for the broad array of deep talent ..."Review on Litseen
Word Performances is a series of poetry, prose, comedy, and memoir where words are the lead, music is featured,
and dance makes a cameo.
Our last show at The Lost Church featured PITTA of the Mind, poet and musician Colleen McKee, flamenco dancer extraordinaire Damien Alvarez, Kora player Daniel Berkman, literary performance collaborators Zarina Zabrisky & Simon Rogghe, wordsmith Todd Siegel, with poet and dancer Cybele Zufolo Siegel.
Produced and Curated by
Cybele Zufolo Siegel & Todd Siegel
Colleen is the author of Nine Kinds of Wrong (poetry,fiction, and memoir). Also: A Partial List of Things I Have Done for Money, a chapbook of poetry, memoir, published by JKPublishing. Also, My Hot Little Tomato, a chapbook of poems about food and the erotic, published by Cherry Pie Press.
Daniel is a Bay Area electronic musician, composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, looper and innovator of the Kora (a 21-stringed harp-lute from West Africa) and it's modern counterpart,the Gravikord. Daniel also has recordings under his electronic music moniker Colfax (also on Bandcamp). Instruments: kora, gravikord, guitar, handsonic, ukelin, synths, cello, uke, viol, keys and more.
Pitta of the Mind is the duo of Amanda Chaudhary and Maw Shein Win, combining poetry with abstract electronic music. Their highly theatrical performances each center around a theme that is explored via text, sound and visuals.
Amanda Chaudhary is a composer and performer specializing in contemporary and electronic music. Her solo work involves experimenting with innovative sounds via analog synthesis and custom software with computers and mobile devices as well as folk and toy instruments. Her other ensemble projects include Reconnaissance Fly, an art-pop band and composers collective; and Surplus 1980, a Bay Area post-punk band.
Maw Shein Win often collaborates with visual artists and musicians, and her latest poetry chapbook, Ruins of a glittering palace, with paintings by Mark Dutcher, was published by SPA/Commonwealth Projects.She is currently a poetry editor for Rivet: The Journal of Writing that Risks for Red Bridge Press, a freelancer at the San Francisco Writers' Grotto, and a co-publisher for Stretcher.
Cybele is the author of Ocean Sounds in New York a collection of poetry, essays and non-fiction
prose about dance, love, and performance and Dancer Girl: I Remember
the NYC Ballet: Poems and Prose on Dance and Performance, She holds an
MA from Columbia University, is a National Endowment for the Humanities
grant recipient, former dancer with the New York City Ballet and has
appeared in films, plays and voice overs. Cybele is the
co-founder of Word Performances.
Damien Álvarez is a San Francisco native and Flamenco dancer. Dancing flamenco has been a part of his life since he was 7 years old.Damien first performed in Rosa Montoya’s annual show in 1992 and hasn't stopped performing since. His goal as a performer and teacher is to show any and everyone that we are all meant to dance, “tal y como somos” (exactly as we are)! Currently he dances flamenco all over the Bay Area. Bienvenidos y Olé!
When noir duets Zarina Zabrisky and Simon Rogghe started writing poems to each other, a "third mind" was created. Their poems dissolve boundaries between their separate identities. Like the surrealists, they believe that literature is larger than its authors, that art is bigger than an artist.
crafts and performs idea satire poetry,
and was called "the e e cummings of
San Francisco tech culture" by
Joel Landmine at Identity Crisis III.
He co-produces the Word Performances series with his infinitely lovely wife Cybele. In perpendicular, Todd designs and prototypes user experiences and serves as a wordsmith for startups. He's represented by 10x Management, and was interviewed in The New Yorker about the future present of work.
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"There's no shortage of writers in San Francisco, nor of places where we can read. But this one stands out. Word Performances has elements of the old-fashioned soiree but also something unexpected and curious. The writers they invite are both well-known and newcomers, and on any given night there might be a singer or a dancer or a stand-up comic. It's a delightful event - one with a love of performance and a deep commitment to words. If you believe the digital age has killed literature, you'll need to think again."