Nerve Lantern: Axon of Performance Literature is a truly unique publication. Published by Pyriform Press and edited by Ellen Redbird, Nerve Lantern is “a journal of experimental performance texts and texts about performance, supporting a range of forms, including poets’ theatre and page-as-stage.” Some examples from Winter 2014 Issue 7: “Un/Conventional Chorus: A Spoken Choral Work for Ten Voices” by Mary Burger & Yedda Morrison; “A Song about the Moon in the Middle of the Night” by Hannah Rodabaugh; “Xylene Radiator Anxiety Mask: Experimental Sonnet Map for Five Voices” by Gary Sloboda; “Pig of Angels of the Americlypse: An anti-masque for four players” by Rodrigo Toscano.
Submissions for the publication are open, but the editorial advice is to understand why you want to be a part of the Nerve Lantern community and what you feel “akin” to or what “new” you will add to it before submitting. The community can be better understood not just by reading past issues of the publication, but viewing one of the many performance videos shot during the publication’s performance venue: “An Afternoon of Sparking Poetry.” The most recent of these have been hosted by the Medicine Show Theatre in New York.
Redbird offers further “Thoughts to Nerve Lantern Newcomers” on the submissions page, asking questions to have writers consider the performance aspects of their work, not only how it might be performed “on stage” but also on the page. A helpful guide for readers and writers alike to help in our understanding and appreciation for this literary form.
Kudos to Ellen Redbird and contributors to Nerve Lantern for providing, not just a place for this genre, but a community in which it can be fostered.