Carla Harryman:
A Biographical Note and Bibliography


Carla Harryman teaches in the Department of English at Eastern Michigan University and is on the faculty of the Milton Avery School of the Arts Graduate Program at Bard College, New York. She lives with her husband, Barrett Watten, in Detroit, MI.

Harryman’s awards include an Opera America Next Stage Grant (1995-2000), with composer Erling Wold, for the staging of a chamber opera based on a Max Ernst collage novel, A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil. She also has been awarded a number of performance and writing grants, including the award in poetry from The Foundation of Contemporary Art (2004).


  • Adorno’s Noise (Ohio and Illinois, Essay Press, forthcoming, 2008): Conceptual Essays
  • Open Box (New York: Belladonna, 2007): poetry
  • Lust for Life: on the Writings of Kathy Acker (co-edited with Amy Scholder and Avita Ronell (New York and London: Verso, 2006): critical essay anthology
  • Baby (New York: Adventures in Poetry, 2005): new genre/prose
  • Gardener of Stars (Berkeley, Calif.: Atelos, 2001): experimental novel
  • Dim Blue and Why Yell (New York, Belladonna, 2000): poetry chapbook
  • The Words: After Carl Sandburg’s Rootabaga Stories and Jean-Paul Sartre (Berkeley, Calif.: O Books, 1994): experimental novel
  • There Never Was a Rose Without a Thorn (San Francisco: City Lights, 1995); translated as Tourjours L’epine Es Sous La Rose, trans. Martin Richet (Paris, France: Ikko, 2006): prose
  • Memory Play (Oakland, Calif.: O Books, 1994): performance
  • In the Mode Of (Tenerife, Canary Is., Sp.: Zasterle Press, 1992): prose
  • Animal Instincts: Prose, Plays Essays (Berkeley, Calif.: This Press, 1989)
  • Vice (Hartford, Conn.: Potes and Poets Press, 1986): new genre
  • The Middle (San Francisco: Gaz Press, 1983): experimental essay
  • Property (Berkeley, Calif.: Tuumba Press, 1982): new genre
  • Under the Bridge (San Francisco: This Press, 1980): prose/poetry
  • Percentage (Berkeley, Calif.: Tuumba Press, 1979): performance/prose

Journal and Magazine Publications

Articles and Creative Essays:

  • “Acker Unformed,” in Lust for Life, eds. Amy Scholder, Carla Harryman, Avital Ronell (New York and London, Verso, 2006)
  • “How I Wrote Gardener of Stars, in Biting the Error, eds. Robert Gluck, Gail Scott, Megan Adams (Toronto, Coach House Press, 2004)
  • “Residues or Revolutions of the Language of Acker and Artaud,” in Devouring Instutitions, ed., Michael Hardin (San Diego, SDSU Press, 2004)
  • “The Mother of Us All,” How2, (on-line journal), vol. 2, no. 2
  • “Parallel Play,” in The Grand Permission, (Wesleyan University Press, 2003)
  • “The Ear of the Poet in the Mouth of the Performer,” How2, (on-line journal)vol. 2, no. 4 (September 2003)
  • “The Nadja and Nanette of Gail Scott’s Main Brides,” in Assembling Alternatives: Reading Postmodern Poetries Transnationally, ed. Romana Huk (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 2003)
  • “Site Sampling in Performing Objects Stationed in the Subworld,” Additional Apparitions (Sheffield, UK, 2002)
  • “The Nadja and Nanette of Gail Scott’s Main Brides,” in Gail Scott: Essays on her Works, ed. Lianne Moyes (Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, London: Guernica Press, 2002)
  • “Rules and Restraints in Women’s Experimental Writing,” in We Who Love to Be Astonished: Women Experimenters and Performance Writing, ed. Cynthia Hogue and Laura Hinton (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2001)
  • “Women’s Writing: Hybrid Thoughts on Contingent Hierarchies and Reception,” How2 (on-line journal) 1, no. 2 (September 1999)
  • “Home in the Book of Daniel: Conversations on Theater and Community,” Trait (Detroit) 2 (1999)
  • “Wild Mothers,” in Moving Borders: Three Decades of Innovative Writing by Women, ed. Mary Margaret Sloan (New Jersey: Talisman House, 1998)
  • “Somatic Mediations: The Work of Mary Ann Unger,” Sulfur 40 (Spring 1997)
  • “Beautiful Arrangements: The Philosopher’s Suite by Nayland Blake,” in Biannual Exhibition Catalogue (Newport Beach, Calif.: Newport Harbor Art Museum 1991)

Other Uncollected and Translated Writing

  • “When,” Tantulum, vol. 1 (New York, 2006)
  • “Light Poem,” “Wittig,” and “Wall of Words,” Fascicle, (on-line journal, 2005)
  • from “Mirror Play,” No: a Journal of the Arts (New York), issue 4, 2005
  • from “Open Box,” mark(s) (Detroit, Mich.; on-line journal archive)
  • from “Mirror Play,” Call Review, issue 1 (New York) 2004
  • from “Mirror Play,” Mirage, issue 117 (San Francisco) 2004
  • “Realizam” and “Maternistvo” (Zagonetka), Jezik, Poezija, Postmoderniam, ed. Dubravka Doric (Oktoih, Serbia) 2002
  • from “Look Again,” The World, issue 48 (New York) 2002
  • from The Games, an image text collaboration by Carla Harryman and Amy Trachtenberg, Factorial, 1 (Providience R.I., and San Jose, Ca.) 2002
  • from “Performing Objects Stationed in the Sub World,” in Mantis: Poetry and Performance, vol. 3 (Stanford, Calif.) (2002)
  • From Performing Objects Stationed in the Sub World, Nerve Lantern: Annual Axon of Perfomance Literature (Boulder, Co.) 2 (2002)
  • “Magi (Eller Rousseau),” Ikke-Frankrig,” “Ikke-Frankrig” “Manden,” Krydsord (Koenhavn, Den.) 3, 2001
  • “Games” by Carla Harryman and Amy Trachtenberg, mark(s) (Detroit, Mich.; online archive)
  • “For John Raskin’s Appearances,” The Gig (Toronto) 10, 2002
  • from “The Wide Road,” with Lyn Hejinian, Tripwire, special issue on “Gender” (San Francisco) 3 (Summer 1999)
  • from “Portrait of Baby,” and “Song for Asa,” Crayon (Milwaukee and New York), 2001
  • “Portrait of M,” Dispatch Detroit, issue 3, 1999
  • “Simulation of the Cave,” “Cave Simulation,” Lipstick (San Francisco) 11 (1998)
  • untitled poem, Persephonique (Boulder, Colo.; 1997)
  • “Appearances for Rova Saxophone Quartet,” Black Saint CD (Milan, Ital., 1997)
  • “Erosionssäulen,” “Under der Brücke,” and “Am Jordan,” in “Grosse Brüder I: Kulturelle Vorherrschaft? Amerika,” Neue Literatur (Bucharest, Rom., and Frankfurt, Germ.) n.s., 1996, no. 1
  • “Obstáculo” and “No hay nada major que una teoria,” Pagina (Barcelona) 21-22 (1996)
  • “Males (terrorists),” Chain (Buffalo, N.Y.; 1996)
  • “Monongahela,” “Self Portrait,” and “Fish Speech,” Avec (Penngrove, Calif.; 1994)
  • from The Wide Road, by Carla Harryman and Lyn Hejinian, Tessera: Feminist(s) Project(s)/Projets (des) feministes (North York, Ont.; 1994)
  • from The Wide Road, by Carla Harryman and Lyn Hejinian, Aerial (Washington, D.C.; 1991)
  • “Dialogue: Museo de Antropologia, Mexico,” by Carla Harryman and Steve Benson, Poetics Journal 8: Elsewhere (Berkeley, Calif.; 1989)


  • Interview with Laura Hinton, Postmodern Culture, Issue 16, Vol. 1
  • Interview with Michael McGee and Jacques Dubrot, Combo issue 9 ( 2001)
  • Interview with Chris Tysh, Poetics Journal: Knowledge issue 10 (1998)
  • An Interview with Carla Harryman,” by Megan Simpson, Contemporary Literature issue 37, vol. 4 (Winter 1996)
  • Interview (with Manuel Brito), A Suite of Poetic Voices (Santa Brigada, Spain: Kadle Books, 1994)


Works performed

  • Mirror Play, a bilingual spoken choral performance in French and English, Memoria, Montreal, 2006
  • Mirror Play, directed by Patricia Ybarra, featured work at the Poet’s Plays Festival, Ontological-Hysteric Theater, New York, 2006
  • Mirror Play, a spoken choral performance in German and English, Hölderlinturm, Tübingen, Germany, December 2005
  • Mirror Play, improvised music and text performance in German and English with John Raskin, John Schott, Franziska Ruprecht and Barrett Watten, Wels Music Festival 19, Wels, Austria, November 2005
  • Mirror Play, with Jon Raskin, John Olson, Roham Shaikhani, Elana Elyce, Abbas Bazzi, Mary Byrnes, Wolanda Lewis, directed by Jim Cave at The Susannce Hilberry Gallery, Ferndale Michigan, August 9-14.
  • Mirror Play, sound-text performance, with Jon Raskin, San Francisco Poetry Center, March 31, 2005
  • Mirror Play¸sound-text performance, Susan Hilberry Gallery, Ferndale, MI., November 2004
  • Mirror Play, sound-text performancae with Jon Raskin, New Langton Arts, San Francisco, April 2004
  • Performing Objects Stationed in the Sub World, directed by Jim Cave with visual design by Amy Trachtenberg and music by Erling Wold, The LAB, San Francisco, September, 2003
  • Performing Objects Stationed in the Sub World, directed by John Jackery, Zeitgeist Theater, Detroit, April, 2002
  • Performing Objects Stationed in the Sub World staged reading, directed by Jim Cave, Small Press Traffic at California College of Arts and Crafts, San Francisco, February 2002
  • Performing Objects Stationed in Platform on the Sub (Urban) World, staged reading, Oxford Brookes University, April, 2001Performing Objects Stationed in Platform on the Sub (Urban) World, staged reading, Oxford Brookes University, April, 2001
  • Third Man, University of Auckland Theater, New Zealand, July 1995
  • Fish Speech, The United States of Poetry, Washington Square Films, New York, 1996
  • Memory Play, The LAB, San Francisco, May 1994; with Philip Horvitz, Director; John Woodall, Art Director; and performances by John Woodall, Michelle Rollman, Scott MacLeod, Nancy McClellan, Kevin Killian, and Wayne Smith
  • Memory Play, dramatic readings, Norwich College of Art, U.K., with Carla Harryman and cris cheek, July 1996; University of California at San Diego, with Jerome Rothenberg, Michael Davidson, Cole Heinowitz, Harry Polkinhorn, John Granger, and Shiba Abud-Nazar; playwright’s reading, Articule/Playwright’s Theater, Montreal, April 1993; play-wright’s reading, Submit Theater, San Francisco, May 1992
  • Film script for Rubble, directed by Abigail Child, New York, 1993—94
  • Memory, solo performance, The LAB, San Francisco, July 1991
  • There Is Nothing Better Than a Theory, New Langton Arts, February—March 1989, Carla Harryman, Director; Mark Durant, Artist; David Barrett, Composer; and Gina Hyams and Amy Brosnahan, Performers
  • There Is Nothing Better Than a Theory, staged by Poet’s Theater at the Clarion Café, San Franciso, April 1984.
  • Fist of the Colossus (co-authored with Tom Mandel), performed by Poets Theater at Small Press Traffic, San Francisco, 1988; and Larry Blake’s, Berkeley, 1987
  • La Quotidienne, 300 Bowery, New York, 1984, with Alan Davies and Carla Harryman; New Lang­ton Arts, 1982; Steve Benson, Director; with Nick Robinson and Carla Harryman, Performers
  • Third Man, Studio Eremos, San Francisco, 1979; with Poets Theater; Nick Robinson, Director
  • Percentage, Project Artaud and The Farm, August 1978; performed by Poets Theater with Eileen Corder and Carla Harryman, Performers; Nick Robinson, Director


  • Co-organizer, with Ron Allen, “Black Mouth Theater,” Detroit, October 2000-October 2001
  • Director, staged reading, Dutchman, by LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, “The Opening of the Field: North American Poetry of the 1960s,” University of Maine, June 2000
  • Dramaturgy and text adaptation, A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil, opera based on text by Max Ernst; with Jim Cave, director, and Erling Wold, composer. Performances: Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco, January 1995; March 20
  • Direction and text adaptation, Car Men, by Chris Tysh, Detroit Institute of Arts, November 1996
  • Actor, Kiss of Fire, by Abigail Child, WNYT, New York, 1995
  • Director, Goya’s L.A., by Leslie Scalapino, New Langton Arts, San Francisco, February 1995
  • Director, IOU Theater, Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco, 1991


  • “Matter,” from The Games, with Amy Trachtenberg, San Francisco Historical Society Group Exihibition, November 2004 through April 2005.
  • “Who,” Intersections, at Detroit Contemporary Gallery, site specific constructions and virtual media, curated by Robert Andersen and Debra King, April 12-May 18, 2003
  • “The Games,” with Amy Trachtenberg, text and image, ODC Gallery, San Francisco, March 2000
  • “Hammer and Pie,” with Robert Anderson, mixed media installation, Zoom Gallery (Ann Arbor, Mich.), March-May 1999
  • “Chairs of Words,” installation based on museum collection, typographic design by Peter Hill, Cranbrook Museum (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), January—March 1998: (via Wayback web archive)