Constance DeJong: I've always been strongly engaged with language as a time-based medium. In the writing, that meant an attention to velocity, rhythm, pacing, conspicuous composition and structuring—and eventually, sonority. I was preparing for my first reading—what I ended up calling a performance—and while I was rehearsing in my kitchen, I discovered that I wasn't looking at the pages any longer, that I could speak the text. That was a kind of epiphany because of my interest in time—in real time. I didn't want the page to be the past, and the viewer to be the present. I was interested in this area in which language could be embodied and seem to construct itself in real time. So your experience of the text—you being the audience—is in real time. It's becoming, unfurling, unfolding, which makes it not a reading, but a performance. And from then on, I thought differently about what performance is.

Nick James Scavo