I write, draw, perform, take photos and make books. In October 2020, I began my PhD at the University of Leeds, studying failure in contemporary experimental poetry performance. The best way to understand my practice is to watch this playlist of my performance videos. Below is a list of my previous and upcoming projects. If you’d like to contact me, my email address is sarah at sarah-dawson dot co dot uk
22/04/21: Co-organised and presented the event These Events, Events Make, Ruptures: A Performative Lecture and Q&A with Nathan Walker. This event was organised with the support of CePRA at the University of Leeds.
12/03/21: My book expecting a different result has been reviewed by Chloe Proctor. Thank you to Chloe for delving so deep into my visual poetry practices and connecting the work thoughtfully to my previous performances.
07/03/21: Read two poems from the phonetic alphabet at the Leeds Lit Fest Salon, organised by Clare Fisher as part of the Leeds Literature Festival. A video of the event is available here, my performance begins at around 53:20.
22/01/21: Two visual poems titled ‘present for my brother’ published by the Babel Tower Notice Board.
01/07/20: My debut artist’s book expecting a different result has been published by HVTN’s new INTERRUPTIONS imprint. The book consists of 40 x A5 cards in a handmade tracing paper envelope, and is best described as: ‘a record of work done in the effort to engage a ghost. It comprises handwriting, tracing, pinning and sewing, copied and pasted and printed and scanned and printed again.’ Please contact me at sarah at sarah-dawson dot co dot uk if you require a review copy.
18/02/20 – 17-03-20: Two of my handmade visual poems, made using tracing, drawing, erasure and collage, were included in the exhibition ‘A Notational Literature, The (Un)finished Draft’, at the Museum of Futures.
20/01/20 – 22/02/20: Three of my pink drawings celebrating stains found in my rented flat were included in the exhibition Temporary Spaces at the Poetry Cafe. All of the work from the exhibition was anthologised in an exhibition catalogue published by Pamenar Press.
01/12/19: Documentation of my performance ‘event score for the poem with a scale ratio of 1:1’ was included in Emergency INDEX Vol. 8.
21/11/2019: Performed two new poems at Volta! poetry night in Norwich.
28/10/19: Co-organised Theatre of Failure VI: the Hauntology Special, with readings from Sarah Cave, Al Anderson, J.D. Howse, Petero Kalulé, Charlotte Geater and Stephen Mooney. A playlist of all the videos is available here.
08/10/2019: My poem ‘Look at my skinless tomatoes!‘ is included in issue 72 of The Interpreter’s House, alongside a drawing from my expecting a different result project.
22/09/2019: Three visual poems from my expecting a different result project published in Datableed issue 12.
10/08/2019: Co-organised Theatre of Failure V at the Nell of Old Drury, with readings from Briony Hughes, Kostya Tsolákis, George Reiner, Nehaal Bajwa, Caspar Heinemann and myself. The videos can be viewed here.
11/06/2019 – 23/08/2019: My visual poetry series WEAK KNOTS, published in para-text, was included in the exhibition Poetry by Design at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, the public art gallery of the University of Leeds.
04/07/19: The Devil’s Dyke Network invited me to display my recent visual art and perform at their eighth Devil’s Dyke Night, at Lighthouse in Brighton. I progressively forgot a poem from my expecting a different result series. If you are prepared for the extreme awkwardness of my experiment in forgetting, you can watch the video here.
23/05/2019: Extracts from expecting a different result published by Burning House Press, as part of their Incompleteness issue.
17/04/2019: Co-organised Theatre of Failure IV with JD Howse, featuring readings from E.P. Jenkins, Alison Graham, Kashif Sharma-Patel, Cat Chong, Yvonne Litschel and Eley Williams. Watch all the videos here.
21/02/2019: ‘Instruct – Act – Attempt’, a collaborative installation made with my friend Astra Papachristodoulou, is included in the group exhibition PHOETRY & PHOTOLIT at the Museum of Futures. Our flexible opening night performance can be viewed here.
18/12/2018: My semi-transparent, handwritten text assemblages, ‘But I wanted the rewards of permanence’, ‘Show me how you peel with your eyes’ and ‘The fear of frustrating eroticism’ are published in HVTN 4.2.
24/11/2018: Three of my visual poems and associated prose poems are published in para-text 6 under the heading WEAK KNOTS.
15/11/2018: Theatre of Failure III took place at the Nell of Old Drury, featuring readings from Al Anderson, Alison Rumfitt, Dolly Turing, Robert Hainault, and Samuel Solomon, as well as a new collaboration between J D Howse and myself. Watch a playlist of all the performances here.
10/11/2018: Performed ‘I will meet you at the place where I was previously‘ at Poem Brut at the Rich Mix.
06/10/2018: My photo/text work ‘Tasks for the embodied’ is published in the new Sidekick Books anthology No, Robot, No.
09/08/18: Co-organised and performed at Theatre of Failure II at the Nell of Old Drury: an experimental LGBTQ poetry event featuring Daniella Valz Gen, Anna Cathenka, Chloe Proctor, James Cole, JD Howse and myself. View playlist of videos here.
22/05/2018: Performed ‘Some possible blessings’ at Fathom Books, HVTN & Friends at the Peckham Pelican. You can view a video of my performance here, and a playlist of all of the videos from the night here.
25/04/2018: A photo/text version of my performance ‘Ways of Holding’ is published in HVTN 4.1.
12/04/2018: Theatre of Failure at the Nell of Old Drury. A new writing night for LGBT+ poets, organised by J D Howse and I. Our first event featured performances from Prudence Bussey-Chamberlain, Mendoza, Kat Sinclair, Libby Norman, Astra Papachristodoulou and myself.
22/03/2018: Poem Brut at Minima Yacht Club, Writers’ Centre Kingston event. Performed ‘failed seance’. Video.
22/02/2018 – 19/03/18: My artwork ‘Traced Copy of my Payslip’ is exhibited in Scribbling and Scrawling, an exhibition of visual poetry at the Museum of Futures in Surbiton. On the opening night, I performed a collaboration with Molly Bergin. Video.
12/12/2017: Graduated Creative Writing MA (Poetic Practice pathway) Royal Holloway University.
07/12/2017: Hoping at Minima Yacht Club, Writers’ Centre Kingston event. Performed ‘Ways of Holding’. Video.
11/11/2017: Poetic Practice MA student and graduate readings at Small Publishers Fair, Conway Hall. Performed ‘Ways of Holding’.
10/11/2017: Self-published Theatre of the Mouth. 48pp roughly A5 landscape, hand sewn. Black and white photography and text. MA final creative project to accompany my dissertation ‘Speechlessness in the Work of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’.
23/02/17 – 12/03/17: My collage ‘Development at 90 Brighton Road’ is included in the Museum of Futures Visual Poetry Exhibition.
23/02/17: Museum of Futures Camarade. Performed a collaboration with Megan Haycock. Video.
05/11/2016: Poetic Practice MA student and graduate readings at Small Publishers Fair, Conway Hall. Read from Agglomeration and the Opposite.
05/11/2016: Self-published one off book work Agglomeration and the Opposite. Japanese stab binding design altered to create closed sleeves, each containing a hand written stanza made up of found text traced from various sources. A series of three books each containing twenty stanzas.
29/05/2016: Self-published you were not invited (evidence of a sound poem). One screenshot per second of my mouth and eye performing a five minute sound poem in private. A5 zine.
23/04/2016: The University Camarade I at Rich Mix. Performed a collaboration with Annia Acosta-Barbores. Video.
15/04/2016: Performance at Drawing Breath. Created an artwork at the event in response to a poem being read.
30/01/2016: Óvinir: The Enemies Project – Iceland, at Rich Mix London. Performed a collaboration with Lucy Furlong. Video.
07/11/2015: Poetic Practice MA student and graduate readings at Small Publishers Fair, Conway Hall. Read from Self-Build Home.
07/11/2015: Self-published Self-Build Home miniature art books.
20/06/2015: Reading at The Water Poets at Carshalton On Sea Festival.
14/06/2015: Mahu Camarade at the Hardy Tree Gallery. Performed a collaboration with Lucy Furlong. Video.
07/06/2015: Self-published direct mail campaign #1, a collection of 10 asemic drawings in a folder, made to resemble marketing materials.
25/10/2014: Camaradefest II at Rich Mix. Performed a collaboration with Robin Boothroyd. Video.