cin salach has demonstrated like few other poets how poetry, performance, music, and media collide in productive and provocative ways. An early and energetic presence in the early slam poetry movement in Chicago, she brought original music and performance to her poetry at the Uptown Poetry Slam soon after she and the venue mutually "discovered" each other.
salach's collaborations in media and performance are numerous and varied. Her early collaborations with Mark Messing and Mark Howell formed an essential ensemble, The Loofah Method. This group evolved over time, growing, shrinking, adding new artists while letting others go, through 1995. The media output from The Loofah Method is significant, in as much as the group employed live video- and film-jockeying: photographers and videographers generated and visuals live, in performance. Musicians also performed live.
Parallel to this, salach also performed in Betty's Mouth, a poetry duet with Sheila Donohue, and in the Bob Shakespeare Band, which included Dononhue and added Marc Smith and Kendall Dunkleberg. As The Loofah Method dissolved after 1995, Ten Tongues arose, which included Messing and Howell in re-configured musical roles. As electronic and cinematic as Loofah Method was originally, Ten Tongues was acoustic, instrumental, and absent of visual gadgetry. The group followed a much more organic path to performance, but salach's poetry was just as much as home in Ten Tongues as it had been anywhere else.
Books by salach include whenI am yes (2014, Coffee Jackleg Press, Chicago) and looking for a soft place to land (1996, Tia Chucha Press).
Audio recordings of salach's performance poetry are available here on the e-poets website, in her Book of Voices feature.
- Kurt Heintz, 2012