Cheryl Pallant

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Cheryl Pallant (born in New York City) is a poet, author, dancer, performance artist, and professor who lives in Richmond, Virginia. She has published several books of innovative poetry, a nonfiction book, and has been featured in several anthologies. Her background as a writer and dancer has led to frequently merging these disciplines.


While a literature student at Long Island University, she was introduced to the dance form, contact improvisation. This postmodern improvisational dance has had a strong influence upon her poetics. Thematic frames and syntax shift rhythmically in her poetry, moving from one context to another, the language much like the moves of a dancer. Her books, such as Into Stillness and Uncommon Grammar Cloth, demonstrate a kinetic poetics guided by an internal momentum that expands upon the possibilities of language and challenges the usual logical mode of reading. Morphs, written in collaboration with Grant Jenkins, resulted from a furthering of her language play, a single poem morphed thirty-five times.

Her book on dance, Contact Improvisation: an Introduction to a Vitalizing Dance Form, is considered a primary book in its field. She was performance art critic for High Performance and dance critic for Style Weekly, a newspaper in Virginia.

Pallant was a three-time recipient of an NEH Grant (2000, 1999, and 1996) in partnership with the Richmond Arts Council. She was selected as Finalist for the Bechtel Prize (2007), among other awards. She was poetry editor for The New Southern Literary Messenger, successor to Southern Literary Messenger, edited by Edgar Allan Poe, and an editor for Contact Quarterly. She has taught at Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Richmond, Keimyung University (in S. Korea), and University of Tulsa.

Select Bibliography[edit]

  • Her Body Listening. Buffalo, NY, BlazeVOX Books, 2017.
  • Continental Drifts. Buffalo, NY, BlazeVOX Books, 2012.
  • Morphs. (written with Grant Jenkins), Chicago, IL: Cracked Slab Books, 2009.
  • Contact Improvisation: an Introduction to a Vitalizing Dance Form. NC McFarland & Co, 2006.
  • Declaration of Independence. Oyster Bay, NY, Feral Press, 2008.
  • Poetry By Chocolate. Oyster Bay, NY, Feral Press, 2008.
  • The Phrase. Oyster Bay, NY, Feral Press, 2006.
  • Into Stillness. Barrytown, NY: Station Hill Press, 2003.
  • Uncommon Grammar Cloth. Barrytown, NY: Station Hill Press, 2001.
  • Spontaneities. New York, NY, Belladonna Press, 2001.

External links[edit]