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"Attending Word Performances is something akin to finding yourself inside a marvelous Literary Carnival where a cavalcade of uber-talented players delight, amuse, enlighten, play, sing, dance, revel; add in the lovely intimacy of The Lost Church with its Lynchian burlesque charm to the evening’s fun and you have a perfect backdrop for the broad array of deep talent ..."

Review on Litseen

Word Performances is a series of poetry, prose, and comedy where words are the lead, music is featured, and dance makes a cameo.

Our show featured poet William Taylor Jr., Pitta of the Mind with Maw Shein Win and Amanda Chaudhary, flamenco dancer Damien Alvarez, novelist Crystal Reiss, violinist Hannah Glass, novelist Jon Sindell, writer Rose Heredia, wordsmith Todd Siegel, and writer & performer Cybele Zufolo Siegel.

Produced and Curated by 
Cybele Zufolo Siegel & Todd Siegel

William Taylor, Jr.

William Taylor Jr. currently lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. His books of poetry include  Words for Songs Never Written and The Hunger Season.  An Age of Monsters, his first book of fiction, is available from Epic Rites Press, along with his latest book of poetry, Broken When We Got Here. The Blood of a Tourist, a collection of new poems, is forthcoming from Sunnyoutside Press.  His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and he was the recipient of a 2013 Acker Award.

Rose Heredia is Dominican-American and from Williamsburg, Brooklyn,
New York and living in Oakland. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of San Francisco. She is a VONA/Voices alum, has read at the InsideStoryTime series, The Racket at Adobe Books, Lit Crawl 2016, Lit Crawl 2017, and at About Last Night storytelling series. She is currently a submissions reader for CRAFT Magazine.ColleenMcKee.blogspot.com

Jon Sindell wrote the story collections The Roadkill Collection and Family Happiness (both from Big Table Publishing). His humor has appeared in The Big Jewel, Defenestration,Points In Case, and in many more magazines, and before barnyard animals in petting zoos everywhere.ColleenMcKee.blogspot.com

Crystal Jo Reiss has written for numerous publications, including The London Evening Standard. Her novel, Jane Is Everywhere, is now available for order from local bookstores, Amazon.com, and Barnesandnoble.com. She has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Columbia University, attended The Squaw Valley Writer’s Conference, and was the recipient of residencies at The Edward Albee Foundation and Dorland Mountain Arts Colony. In addition, she is the co-founder of an editorial and design firm called We Write and Edit. She lives with her husband and son in Oakland, California. To schedule Crystal Jo Reiss for appearances, please contact Window Seat Press by visiting www.windowseatpress.com

Damien began dancing Flamenco at the tender age of 7 inspired by Carlos Saura’s film, “Carmen”. Damien started his training with La Monica at the Mission Cultural Center. Afterwards he moved on to study with San Francisco Flamenco legend Rosa Montoya under whose tutelage he stayed for many years. He performed in Montoya’s annual student productions from 1992 through her final show in 2003. In the spring semester of the same year he taught as her flamenco  assistant at San
Francisco State University. In 2009  Damien performed with Caminos Flamencos in their end of season show. This began a 3 year under study
with Emmy award winning choreographer and dancer, Yaelisa. Under her tutelage he honed his skill in understanding cante and dancing
Bulerias por fiesta (free style).

In 2010 Damien also began studying with flamenco dancer Fanny Ara with whom he continues to study with. With Fanny’s support he began to find and develop his own unique style of flamenco dancing. Power and precision mixed with a little home grown attitude has given rise to a different, fresh, and funky style which is still muy flamenco. In 2014 he resumed Melissa Cruz’s advanced repertoire class as well. Currently, Damien performs in and around the greater Bay Area.tifhiggins.blogspot.com

Cybele is the author of Ocean Sounds in New York a collection of poetry, essays and non-fiction prose about dance, love, and performance and Dancer Girl: I Remember the NYC Ballet: Poems and Prose on Dance and Performance, She holds an MA from Columbia University, is a National Endowment for the Humanities grant recipient, former dancer with the New York City Ballet and has appeared in films, plays and voice overs. Cybele is the
co-founder of Word Performances.
She can be found at cybelezufolo.comhttp://cybelezufolo.com

Classically trained in piano and violin, Hannah Glass has been sharing her multi-instrumental and vocal talents in the Bay for 6 years now. She has performed at venues such as the Sydney Opera House, Hollywood Bowl, Disneyland's 75th Anniversary, UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall at Ted Talks, The Great American Music Hall, and Chinatown's historic Great Star Theater. At UC Berkeley she sang, arranged and directed for DeCadence a cappella, and she studied Baroque violin and viola under the esteemed organist Davitt Moroney and violinist Carla Moore. On occasion she plays solo gypsy-jazz and tango at Kat Robichaud's Misfit Cabaret. She also records and performs indie rock with many Bay Area bands including Your Fearless Leader, Manos Lindas, and Christopher Youmans & the Sound Agency. Hannah looks forward to using her new flexibility as a Rap Analyst at Pandora Radio to go on tour!

Pitta of The Mind

Pitta of the Mind is the duo of Maw Shein Win and Amanda Chaudhary, combining poetry with abstract electronic music. Their highly theatrical performances each center around a theme that is explored via text, sound and visuals.

Maw Shein Win is the first poet laureate of El Cerrito. Her writing has appeared in many journals and several anthologies, including Poetry International, Cimarron Review, Fanzine, and The Fabulist. She was an artist in residence at Headlands Center for the Arts and is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. She often collaborates with visual artists, musicians, and other writers, such as her book with paintings by artist Mark Dutcher, “Ruins of a Glittering Palace,” and her poetry chapbook “Score and Bone.” Her poetry was featured in Megan Wilson’s mural, Flower Interruption, part of an exhibition at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. Her new full-length collection, “Invisible Gifts: Poems,” is on Manic D Press.http://cybelezufolo.com

Amanda Chaudhary is a composer and performer specializing in contemporary and electronic music. Her solo work involves experimenting with innovative sounds via analog synthesis and custom software with computers and mobile devices as well as folk and toy instruments. Her other ensemble projects include Reconnaissance Fly, an art-pop band and composers collective; and Surplus 1980, a Bay Area post-punk band.http://cybelezufolo.com

crafts and performs idea satire poetry, and was called "the e e cummings of San Francisco tech culture" by Joel Landmine at Identity Crisis III.
He co-produces the Word Performances series with his infinitely lovely wife Cybele. In perpendicular, Todd designs and prototypes user experiences and serves as a wordsmith for startups, and was interviewed in The New Yorker about the future present of work.

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"There's no shortage of writers in San Francisco, nor of places where we can read. But this one stands out. Word Performances has elements of the old-fashioned soiree but also something unexpected and curious. The writers they invite are both well-known and newcomers,  and on any given night there might be a singer or a dancer or a stand-up comic. It's a delightful event - one with a love of performance and a deep commitment to words. If you believe the digital age has killed literature, you'll need to think again."

- Sylvie Simmons,  author of  "I'm Your Man, The Life of Leonard Cohen"

The Word Performances Documentary