Shannon Sullivan

- United States of America, Ireland, Germany, -

Shannon Sullivan is a poet and multidisciplinary performance artist. She terms her approach "Physical Poetry”. She received her classical dance training at several renowned schools in the USA: Joffrey Ballet School, Boston Ballet School and North Carolina School of the Arts, among others. In addition, she completed her training as a professional actor at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, and worked for several years as a freelance performer.


Shannon favours an earthy, rhythmical language that emanates from the body as opposed to cerebral abstractions. While still working 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”.


Her focus has now shifted to concocting explosive potions containing poetry and music. "The story written on the butterfly's tongue", her first collaboration with the award-winning musicians Bernd Oezsevim and André Matov, premiered at Haus Fuer Poesie in Berlin in December 2017. "THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN F. & F.”, her second collaboration with Oezsevim and Matov, 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 in Paris, France, and Parole Spalancate in Genoa, Italy. Her poems have been translated into German, French, Slovak, and Italian. She is currently experimenting in her laboratory on a new secret cocktail: a collaboration with the percussionist Ali Hasan (Syria) and guitarist Simon Schmidt (Germany). More to follow …

“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