Chris Vitiello

During the month of May there will be four poems on The City Billboard by Chris Vitiello. These aphoristic poems come from "The Language is Asleep," an accumulating project that began during an immersive theater production in Durham for which Vitiello wrote on-demand one-line poems on dictionary pages to give to audience members while "asleep," and continued in a month-long performance installation at ArtPrize9 in Grand Rapids, Michigan last fall for which he wrote over 12,000 one-line poems in dictionaries. Each iteration of "The Language is Asleep" adds more poems to a corpus well into the thousands.


Chris Vitiello is a Durham-based arts writer, performer, and poet. His most recent book is Obedience (Ahsahta, 2012). Other books include Irresponsibility(Ahsahta, 2008) and Nouns Swarm A Verb (Xurban, 1999). He writes about art and performance for Indy Week, and other publications, and recently won a Rabkin Prize for Visual Arts Journalism. His performance installation, “The Language is Asleep,” won an ArtPrize Pitch Night grant in 2017. He organizes art events throughout the Triangle and has curated group exhibitions at the Ackland Art Museum at UNC-Chapel Hill and at the Carrack Modern Art Gallery in Durham, NC. He also writes spontaneous custom poems on a vintage typewriter as the Poetry Fox.




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