A mixed-media tour de force, Alphabet Theater breaks open the page to extend poetic practice into the realms of visual art and performance. Its complex and innovative format layers poetry, video stills, drawing and collages in pieces that range from performance art to opera and political theater. The book's four distinctive sections encompass four separate performances. In "The Poor Body," first performed in collaboration with choreographer Elizabeth Lahey, the text alternates with video stills of movement. "The Lightning Hive" is a "semiotic opera" swarming with letters and bees in motion, accompanied by staging notes and drawings. The performance space "The Still Place" is the page itself, exploring the fragile border between the "I" and the "not-I." Finally, "Read My Apocalypse," is a performance that tracks the months preceding the Gulf War in a kind of desperate vaudeville with material and references ranging from Milton and apocalypse psychology to Pat Robertson, Love Canal and W.C. Williams. This book is a thoroughly engaging transit through the landscapes of contemporary culture and relationships.
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