NaCl: Performance Poem of the Week

R.J. Wright: Dyslexia


What works in this piece:

  • Opens with some light humor that he knows the audience will appreciate (“Words are really hard. Just ask any three-year-old…or Donald Trump”)
  • Incorporates elements of dyslexia into the poem/performance reflects content, adding depth the piece as a whole
  • Creates a performance (temporal) out of a disorder that is spatial in form
  • The form and performance reflects the content, adding depth to the piece as a whole.
  • Weaves in poignant social commentary while maintaining the construct – “What is being black in America if not an experiment in editing oneself?”
  • Incorporates narratives of his own lived experience through the lens of dyslexia – “When you relive stumbling through Of Mice and Men in front of a jury of your adolescent tears – I mean peers.” (Note: Of Mice and Men is about a murder – by using this reference, Wright seems to convey the feeling of embarrassment caused by the disorder)
  • Pacing, confidence, performance reflects passion but becomes subdued when Wright really wants to hit on a specific emotional point
  • Ending: “Speaking life has never been my issue. It’s reading and writing it that scares me.”



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