Though talk and text are always already bound up with one another, talking is not writing and writing is not talking. The ways in which they entail, exceed, and exclude each other are both obvious and ambiguous. Talking Text/Texting Talk: A Performance-Panel held at the Chicago Cultural Center in April 2013 brought together five artists from disparate disciplinary backgrounds for performance presentations and discussion exploring how talk is distinguished from and converges with writing. This event was part of The Poetry Center of Chicago’s series A Heap of Language and was co-presented with Requited.

The Performance section of this issue of Requited extends that event with versions of three of the pieces that were presented as part of the panel. These pieces offer diverse responses to the topic: Devin King approaches the relationship between the embodied and textual lives of language by way of an extended consideration of reading, which itself formally displays the simultaneity of thinking and writing. The collaborative text Aurora Tabar presented in her performance takes talk as a departure point for a meditation on the purpose of practice, within and outside established traditions, apart from the goal of an end product. And Deke Weaver’s fantastic and absurd monologue demonstrates the multiple possible registers of a single voice, using that voice to swiftly and ably span the distance between the adorable and the apocalyptic.

Each of these pieces takes on a very different life as text than as performance, and each chooses to textually represent its performed dimensions in particular ways, all of necessity incomplete. Those absent performances are as much part of this special section as the present texts.

Another absence: in addition to the three artists represented here, Michael Thomas and Sage Xaxua Morgan-Hubbard also contributed to and participated in the panel.

~ Ira S. Murfin
   Performance Editor

Talking Text/ Texting Talk: An Introduction
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