Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Website Launched!

Please go to, the new website of Louise Runyon Performance Company, for all future news of Louise's arts activities!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Louise Runyon Performance Company presents
Language / Listening
- an evening of dance, poetry and music -
Friday and Saturday, November 21 and 22, 8 p.m.
(Pre-Show Music at 7:45 p.m.!)
Beacon Hill Arts Center Studio Theatre
410 W. Trinity Place, Decatur
Tickets are $10, available at the door
Scroll down for directions; for video preview:

"Runyon is an artistic force to be reckoned with, a woman of substance." Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Dancers Louise Runyon and Tom Bell will be joined by poet Alice Lovelace and the all-women's West African drumming group, ConunDrums. Themes include drivenness and connection, the mother/daughter relationship, evolution and the natural world, and gardening peace. Presented in partnership with Decatur Organic Farmers Market - Come share a Fall Harvest Cornucopia!

From the entrance to the Decatur MARTA Station on Church Street: Go south on Church Street (towards Agnes Scott College); turn R at the first light onto Trinity Place. Beacon Hill will be several blocks down on the L, just before the railroad overpass. Entrance is in the FRONT of the building! Look for Christmas lights marking the entrance to the theatre. Wheelchair access is up the ramp and through the stage door; all others enter through the theatre door, a little further downhill. Beacon Hill Arts Center shares a building with the Decatur Police Station; Beacon occupies the L-hand side of the building. Free parking on the street or in the parking lot on the NE corner of Trinity Place and Swanton Way, just east of Beacon.

This program is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. It is also supported in part by appropriations from DeKalb County Board of Commissioners and DeKalb County Office of Arts, Culture & Entertainment, and by Poets & Writers,Inc.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

New Praise for Poetry Book!
LANDSCAPE / Fear & Love - what a treasure!
-- Daniel Berrigan
Poet, Activist and Priest

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Louise Runyon Poetry ReadingSunday, June 29, 8 p.m.
Java Monkey Speaks
Java Monkey Coffee House
425 Church Street
Decatur, GA 30033

(Java Monkey is located just across Church Street from the Decatur MARTA station. Look for street parking.)

On Sunday, June 29, Louise will be the featured poet at Java Monkey Speaks in downtown Decatur. She will read from her new book, LANDSCAPE / Fear & Love; from her old book, Reborn; and fromher upcoming book, The Clearing. For ordering info, sample poems and reviews, please scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page + click on "Older Posts."

At Java Monkey Speaks, now in its 7th year of weekly open mic with a featured poet, dynamic spoken word artists share the stage with studied poets in a mix which is outrageous, funny, moving and surprising. The open mic will start at 8 p.m. (come early to sign up), and Louise's feature will start sometime after 9 p.m.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Dance Performance!
Louise Runyon & Tom Bell
May 23 and 24 • 8 pm
Decatur Arts Festival - Breaking New Ground
Beacon Hill Arts Center

Presented by Beacon Dance

Louise Runyon and Tom Bell will perform their new duet, "Unseated," about drivenness and connection.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dance Performance May 4
Louise Runyon will present two new works!
Sunday, May 4, 5 p.m.
Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts
Emory University
Louise Runyon will present two new dance pieces, a solo called "Garden Peace" and a duet with Tom Bell called "Unseated."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Alice Lovelace & Louise Runyon, Revisited!
Poetry Reading plus Discussion:
The Arts and Activism
Thursday, April 24, 7:30 p.m.
Charis Books & More
Louise Runyon and Alice Lovelace first performed together 27 years ago in a dance/poetry show they created called Women at Work. These veteran Atlanta artists have recently re-teamed; join them as they perform their work and entertain questions/answers/ discussion on their evolution as artists and activists!

Lovelace, known as Atlanta’s “grandmother of performance poetry,” has played leadership roles in the Southern Collective of African-American Writers, Neighborhood Arts Center, Alternate Roots and the Arts Exchange, and was lead organizer of the first-ever United States Social Forum, held in Atlanta this past summer ( Runyon, the first woman to work at Atlantic Steel since WWII, began her arts career writing and choreographing about the steel plant. A dancer as well as poet, Runyon is Artistic Director of Louise Runyon Performance Company.
Lovelace is known primarily as a political poet and Runyon as a personal poet, but both have deep roots in the arts and activism. Both poets explore the mother/daughter relationship but from very different family situations and cultures. Runyon will sign her new book, LANDSCAPE / Fear & Love and will also read from her children’s book, Petunias In The Window, the true story of her mother’s 42-year struggle to save her New York apartment building from demolition.

Scroll down for more info about Runyon's LANDSCAPE / Fear & Love, including sample poems, reviews and info on how to order!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Louise Runyon Poetry Reading with Rupert Fike!
Sunday, April 6,
2 p.m.
Wordsmiths Books
545 N. McDonough Street (note new location!)
Decatur, GA 30030, 404-378-7166
Directions: Wordsmiths has moved to the old SunTrust building, on Decatur Square just opposite DeKalb County Courthouse. From Church Street and Ponce de Leon, go south on Church Street (toward Agnes Scott), passing the MARTA station on your R; take your next R onto Trinity and your next R again onto N. McDonough. Park in the lot to the R of Wordsmiths, or in the diagonal parking in the middle of the street.

Louise will read from her new book, LANDSCAPE / Fear & Love (scroll down for ordering info and sample poems). She will be joined by the very popular, funny, and self-effacing Rupert Fike. Rupert is the author of numerous published poems and of Voices From The Farm, which concerns life in a large spiritual community in the 1970s. His poems deal with personal and collective experience of the 60s and 70s and are not to be missed!
A new review of both of Louise's books!
*** "As fluid as any dance movement, Reborn is a body of free-verse prose poems that is confidently recommended to any and all poetry enthusiasts... Also very highly recommended and memorable reading is Louise Morgan Runyon's latest volume of published poetry, LANDSCAPE: Fear & Love." -- Midwest Book Review

Monday, March 3, 2008

New honor for Runyon's recent book of poetry, LANDSCAPE / Fear & Love:
Included in Valerie Jackson's Suggested Reading List for 2008! Valerie Jackson, Atlanta's former first lady, hosts the popular book show Between the Lines on WABE (

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Four Fab Women Poets!
International Women's Day Event

Alice Lovelace, Louise Runyon,
Theresa Davis, Anne Bucey

Saturday, March 8, 8 p.m., Free!
Composition Gallery
Presented by Composition Gallery and Louise Runyon Performance Company
Funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc.

Four of Atlanta's finest women poets will read from their work, which is highly political, deeply personal, and deals strongly with the mother/daughter relationship.

Alice Lovelace ( is considered Atlanta's "grandmother of performance poetry"; her daughter Theresa Davis ( is a powerful political/personal performance poet in her own right. Louise Runyon (scroll down for more info), the first woman to work at Atlantic Steel since World War II, was inspired by her 7 years there to write her first poetry; her new book explores natural landscape as well as the landscape of human relationship; Anne Bucey is a strong writer and performer who writes about family relationships, including that of daughter/mother.

Come join these dynamic women poets for a rockin' rollin' International Women's Day Saturday Night!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Poetry Reading

Thursday, February 21, 12 noon
Briarcliff Baptist Church
3039 Briarcliff Road
Atlanta, GA 30329
This program is offered by Life Enrichment Services Senior Center.
LANDSCAPE / Fear & Love explores both the natural landscape and the landscape of human relationship in the four parts of the country where the poet's family is scattered: California, New York, North Carolina and Georgia.

About LANDSCAPE / Fear & Love:
*** "The poems in LANDSCAPE / Fear & Love take me places that I do not expect to go -- they are surprising, and take me on journeys large and small. I feel compelled to read them over and over again as layers continue to reveal themselves to me. I gave this book to 20 of my friends and family for Christmas!"
-- Cybill Shepherd, Actress, Author of Cybill Disobedience

*** "These poems paint not only the skin, but the muscle and bones of the world and of a life. To read them is to feel through your feet the hidden rugged forces from which emerges the apparent, and to see the forces of movement in that which we mistake for eternal.
-- Thomas Bell, Program Director, Decatur Book Festival
*** "There is absolutely no pretense about [Runyon’s] art… She reads aloud with humor, wit and grace as she moves about a self-styled stage freely, confidently… Runyon is an artistic force to be reckoned with, a woman of substance."
-- Atlanta Journal-Constitution

LANDSCAPE / Fear & Love now available - ordering info below.

ALSO AVAILABLE! Runyon's first book of poetry, Reborn (see below for info about Reborn). Scroll down for sample poems from both books.

To order: Mail check for $17 per book (includes shipping & handling), payable to Louise Runyon, to P.O. Box 33601, Decatur, GA 30033-0601. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. Great Gifts!

To receive e-mails about upcoming performances:, with "Art List" in subject line.
About Reborn:
*** "Louise Runyon proves that her body is not the only thing that is lithe and graceful. Her poetry ebbs and flows and takes the reader on an emotional journey from her days as a steel mill worker, a dancer, a mother and beyond. Her words capture a life in motion and a life that continues to evolve. Reborn is a splendid tango of words and thoughts, urging everyone to join the dance."
-- Collin Kelley, Author of Better To Travel

*** "[Runyon] has a special skill of using words and songs as rhythmical underpinnings to her skillfully modulated movements…intensely personal and intensely portrayed."
-- Atlanta Journal-Constitution

*** "Runyon reads as if words were dance movements flowing from her open heart." -- Art Papers

Sample poem from LANDSCAPE / Fear & Love:

The Geology of New York

The geology of New York
I never noticed as a child, except in my bones,
except I knew I didn’t like to climb as my friends did,
across the street from our apartment building,
the big gray rocks of Fort Washington
where the Battle of Harlem Heights was fought
in the revolutionary war

I noticed the cobblestones, of course, of 122nd Street,
those big gray blocks of native rock, long since paved,
hardly ever saw the Hudson, just blocks away,
never knew the Hudson River Valley.
Never climbed on the gray crags of the Palisades
across the Hudson, just heard of them,
thought of them only as
Palisades Amusement Park

The grand architecture of Manhattan,
reflecting the sheer fact of available building material,
the geology of New York,
the big gray rocks everywhere
in all the parks

But now, though still I hardly know it, except in my bones,
the gneiss and the schist of the rocks in the parks
the foundations of the great buildings
the heavy curbstones, the Palisades and rock walls
the great breadth of the Hudson
impress themselves upon me

I know so little of it, but get a sense, a glimmer,
of the beauty and the grandeur of the natural world of it,
so covered over by Times Square lights,
smoke-ring-blowing billboards, cars
jutting out of buildings,
while underneath –

so far from the land I really know
(its beauty always pointed out) –

so far from the blue mountains of North Carolina –
those gentle mountains of my ancestral home,
sleeping giants covered with green army blankets,
great gentle beasts you could nestle down in,
or whom you could straddle and ride –

so far from those blue mountains,
underneath "New York"
is a wild and rugged island, a majestic river valley
made from solid bedrock, gray gigantic rock,
the river cutting through it
in its rush to the sea

Sample Poem from Reborn:

The Wistfulness of Fall

The Joe-Pye weed
is a-comin’ up
along with the goldenrod,
neither yet their huge,
unruly selves,
but both still just yet small
and sedate

The Joe-Pye weed,
the goldenrod,
the blood-red lobelia, too,
a brilliant scarlet plume,
just startin’ out, all three:
and surely
the reddest red
you ever did see

It’ll be fall soon,
boy’ll be gone.

Somethin’s happened to the pond,
it’s ‘bout gone,
though we’ve had

Golden-green grass covers half,
another quarter is mud,
the last quarter
is muddy water

But birds abound in it,
a half-grown, snowy,
great white egret takes off,
spreads its elegant white wings
in flight,
flies back, and flies
way up into a high tree,
its elegant
thin long white neck

A half-grown, great blue
heron takes off as well,
ungainly, kinda,
like it don’t quite know yet
how to fly
I saw it as a baby, earlier
this summer

The now-small pond
is full yet still,
with a solid dozen of teal male ducks
and brown females,
too far away for telling,
but half-grown ducklings,
all splashing about, paddling and chirping,
in the mud

Storm‘ll be comin’ on soon
There’s white clouds on white,
gray clouds on gray,
there’s white ones on gray ones,
and gray ones on white

There’s blue, though, yet and still –
blue, on the other side of the pond,
blue as blue –
and above the golden-green grasses,
with the whites and the grays on the other side,
and the teals and the mallards,
it looks like a landscape portrait paintin’,
just as glorious as you could see

The mimosa
is no longer pink,
it’s long, ridged green pods
are just a-hangin’

I best be gettin’ on now,
that almost-grown
boy’s goin’ off on a weekend trip,
‘fore he goes off in the fall

I want to catch him,
tell him bye

About Louise Runyon:
A former steelworker, Louise Morgan Runyon is a dancer/choreographer as well as poet. Artistic Director of Louise Runyon Performance Company, she has performed her one-woman show, Crones, Dolls and Raging Beauties, around the nation. Runyon is also a practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education, a movement-based mind-body discipline. She lives in Atlanta.

LANDSCAPE Cover Design: Lucas Barth (
LANDSCAPE Cover Painting: John T. Morgan
LANDSCAPE Cover Photo: Dan Schultz
Author Photo: Lucas Barth (
Reborn Photo: Neil Dent