Shannon Sullivan - Portrait

Shannon Sullivan is known for the percussive power of her interdisciplinary poetic performances. 2022 she was nominated for the European-wide poetry network Versopolis. Her 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. The images in her work range from deeply personal to global as she careens through an almost dizzying kaleidoscope of emotional landscapes.

Interweaving music and poetry is a passion of Sullivan’s. Sound and rhythm provide the heartbeat which propels the listener towards metamorphosis. Her work has been shown in numerous festivals in Europe and beyond; her poems have been translated into German, French, Spanish, Armenian, Slovak, Dutch, and Italian. “THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN F. & F.”, a collaboration with the musicians Ali Hasan and Simon Schmidt, has now been recorded as her first full-length album.

Press Reviews

“Shannon Sullivan is one of the most interesting representatives of oral poetry and its connection to music. Her stage presence and her magnetic voice are in service to powerful texts that remain etched in the mind of the reader / listener.”

– Claudio Pozzani, Director “Parole Spalancate”, International Poetry Festival, Genoa, Italy June 2022


“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

“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