Performance Writing

performance magazine

‘So, what is Performance Writing not? Is Performance Writing not writing?
Is it writing which performs not writes? Is it not performance which writes? But then does writing not perform? And when does writing not perform? And what kind of not performance are we talking about? Is it not performance to write or is it not writing to not perform?’

Caroline Bergvall, ‘Keynote: What Do We Mean by Performance Writing?’, delivered at the first Symposium of Performance Writing, Dartington College of Arts, 12 April 1996 (

Performance Writing was, in Caroline Bergvall’s terms, a ‘resonance’ around which ‘cross-disciplinary dialogues’ circulated in a number of contexts. The past-tense pronoun is used here, tentatively, to acknowledge as well the period between 1994-2010 when the Performance Writing BA ran at Dartington College of Arts before DCA was absorbed by Falmouth University. Performance Writing at Dartington was a particularly exuberant configuration of inquiries and experiments and would well reward further investigation.

‘Performance Writing’ Wikipedia page

Rachel Lois Clapham, (W)Reading Performance Writing: A Study Room Guide’, London: Live Art Development Agency, 2010


words by Johanna Linsley

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