Shannon Sullivan

- United States of America, Ireland, Germany, -

Shannon Sullivan's poetry confronts the dark spaces of the personal and collective psyches with an intent on transformation. With a keen eye, she penetrates the interrelatedness of microcosm and macrocosm, interweaving images of personal and collective significance. As a dancer, she investigated the chemical reactions between poetry and movement, creating such pieces as "13 poems in a body" and "Broken: Part One”. She terms her approach “Physical Poetry.”
Her  current work concocts potent potions of poetry and music. Sound and rhythm provide the heartbeat which propels the listener towards metamorphosis. “the story written on the butterfly's tongue," her first collaboration with musicians Bernd Oezsevim and André Matov, premiered at Haus Fuer Poesie in Berlin in December 2017. "THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN F. & F.” celebrated its premiere at the Lettrétage in Berlin 2019. Her work has been shown at numerous international festivals including Ars Poetica in Bratislava, Slovakia; Intrications Poétiques, Issy-les-Moulineux, France; POETAS in Madrid, Spain; Yerevan International Book Fest, Armenia; Parole Spalancate, Genoa, Italy. Her poems have been translated into German, French, Spanish, Armenian, Slovak, and Italian. In collaboration with the musicians Ali Hasan and Simon Schmidt, she recorded “THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN F. & F.” as her first full-length album.

“Shannon Sullivan's production of “13 poems in a body” was absolutely stunning. After a serious foot injury, the dancer discovered a new means of expression for herself: language. In collaboration with Raffaella Galdi, her dance performance provoked movement from the spoken word - and vice versa. The piece painfully translated mental turmoil into a physical one and made the audience feel the torment associated with it intensely. An outstanding conclusion for two varied theater evenings, which provided a promising outlook on the repertoire of performances of tomorrow."

- “Mannheimer Morgen", July 14, 2009


“Shannon Sullivan is a performer, poet, and Feldenkrais practitioner based in Berlin. She not only works with instrumentalists musically, but also physically. The Feldenkrais Method explores movement processes and trains awareness of posture and movement skills. This practice is reflected in Sullivan's writing processes. She calls her approach “Physical Poetry”. Drummer Bernd Oezsevim and pianist Roman Babik worked together with Sullivan to set some of her poems to music. "Top" tells of the pull of gravity, of the forces that act on the body in motion. Stagger, lose balance, spin. The centrifugal force also creates an inner turmoil. Shannon Sullivan and the musicians lend expression to this restlessness..”(followed by audio recording of the poem “Top”)

- Radio Feature “How Musicians Translate Poetry into Sound”, by Franziska Buhre, SWR 2 Jazz Now, March 2021