Nathan Walker


Nathan Walker is an artist and writer from West Cumbria, UK. 

Nathan works across and between performance art and poetry, exploring both the body and the page as sites for vocal exploration and the manipulation of sound and speech. They have developed their own vocal techniques for making audible non-linguistic and illegible marks on the page. They often describe their work as ‘action poetry’, reviving the term associated with sound poetry to consider poetry as a physical act. 

Their performances often take place over extended durations, sometimes several hours, during which time Nathan constructs spaces of intense listening and attention. They have performed internationally at festivals and galleries including Finland, USA, Germany, France and the UK.

Their scores for vocal performances use collage, writing constraints and descriptions of previous performances to generate new approaches to reading, vocalisation and performance. These works have been published in books, magazines and journals most recently in Tripwire (USA), Mantis Journal (Stanford), The Queer Anthology of Wilderness (Pilot Press), and Blackbox Manifold (Sheffield). 

Their book Condensations was published in 2017 by Uniformbooks. Condensations ranges language as a collection of slow-collage-word-terrains where language is overlaid in dense textual marks to be navigated by the reader. Condensations was constructed following a residency at the Armitt Museum and Library in Ambleside, Cumbria and led to a commission for BBC Radio 3’s poetry programme The Verb. This book length score for vocal performance was listed as one of the The White Review’s Books of The Year (2017).

Their book of computer generated performance scores, Action Score Generator, was published by If P Then Q in 2015 and exhibited as part of Conceptual Poetics exhibition at the Poetry Library. 

Between 2009 and 2019 Nathan co-founded and curated the arts organisation Oui Performance with artist Victoria Gray. Together they presented a series of performance art events in York, North Yorkshire programming over 50 artists to produce new performance works.

Nathan’s PhD considered the relationship between performance art and poetry. They are senior lecturer of time-based practices in Fine Art & Photography at York St John University.


Condensations (2017) Uniformbooks, Devon

Action Score Generator (2015) if p then q, Manchester

Poems, Scores and Writings       

2020 Practice Sharing [link]
2020 Futch Press Blog
2020 Tripwire 16
2020 A Queer Anthology of Wilderness
2019 Blackbox Manifold 23
2019 Amberflora Issue 8
2019 Datableed Issue 11
2019 Mantis Journal
2018 A Queer Anthology of Rage
2018 Cumulus Journal Issue 2
2018 Uniformannual
2018 Gorse Magazine Issue 9
2017 3:am Magazine
2017 Alterity Journal Issue One
2017 Contemporary Poetry Series Vol 1 No 4, with Chris McCabe
2016 Datableed Magazine Issue 2
2016 Huellkurven Magazine Issue 4
2015 Huellkurven Magazine Issue 2

Selected Commissions & Residencies      

2017 The Verb, BBC Radio 3, Broadcast 03/03/17
2016 Armitt Museum & Gallery, Ambleside, Cumbria
2014 Performance Space, London
2012 Mercy, Abandon Normal Devices Festival, Liverpool
2011 Project Space Leeds, Leeds


2020 Coward Foundation, Analogue Photography Grant
2016 Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts
2013 Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts (Oui Performance)
2012 Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts (Oui Performance)
2010 Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts (Oui Performance)
2009 Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts (Oui Performance)
2007 AHRC Professional Preparation Masters Scheme
2007 Impetus Award for Socially Engaged Arts Practice, The Institute for Global Ethics, UK Trust

Recent Exhibitions & Performances      

2020 Slant, Forms in Flux [online]
2019 Research Pavillion, 58th Venice Biennale
2018 State of Move, Helsinki
2018 Poetry Emergency, Manchester
2018 Poem Brut, Rich Mix, London
2018 Zarf Poetry Reading, Leeds
2016 English PEN Modern Literature Festival, London
2016 Flare 2, Gallery North, Newcastle Upon Tyne
2016 Conceptual Poetics, Poetry Library, London
2015 Drafting, Baltic 39, Newcastle Upon Tyne
2015 The Enemies Project: Coratia, Rich Mix, London
2015 Word Work, &Model Gallery, Leeds
2014 Experimentica, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff
2014 Shady Dealings with Language, Bökship, London
2013 Residency, Performance Space, London
2013 Duo Days w/ Victoria Gray, Catalyst Arts, Belfast, NI


2019 PhD University of Salford, Manchester, UK - Thesis: 'Action Poetry: The Vocal-Body in Performance Art'
2013 Recognised Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
2008 MA in Performance Writing, Dartington College of Art, Devon, UK

Teaching & Workshops      

2018 - Current - Senior Lecturer in Fine Art & Photography at York St John University

2010 - 2018 Lecturer in Performance at York St John University

2014 - 16 Playing with Chance: The
Action Score Generator, Lecture & Workshop for BA Drama at Kingston University, London

2014 Site, Writing, Noise, Three-Day Taught Workshop for Level 1 & 2 Students, with Roy Claire Potter at L’ecole Beaux Arts Nantes, France

2014 Action / Object, Two-Day Taught Workshop for Level 4 & 5 Students, with Roy Claire Potter, at L’ecole Beaux Arts Nantes, France

Talks & Lectures      

2021 Language Based Research Gathering: A Collateral Reading 
2020 Heat Points, presented at School of Art Institute, Chicago, IL.
2017 Mountainsides: On Composition, Artists Talk at University of Leeds
2014 Artists Talk at L’ecole Beaux Arts Nantes, France
2017 Lilies Under the Tongue, presented at Queering Ritual, York St John University, York
2015 Writing Actions: Durational Writing in Performance, presented at Work, Performance Poetry, Northumbria University & Northern Charter, Newcastle Upon Tyne
2014 Pages as Performing Spaces, Talk at Counter: Plymouth
Artists Books Fair, Plymouth Arts Centre
2014 Action Score Generator: Permutation, Performance & Writing Machines, Performance and New Technologies Working Group, TaPRA 2014, Royal Holloway University, London
2014 Six Words Short: Textual Instruction Events, presented at Modular Form Symposium, University of Roehampton, London
2013 Sounding.js, presented at International E-Poetry Festival 2013, Kingston University, London
2013 Transitional Materialities and the Performance of JavaScript, presented at Becoming Nomad Hybrid Spaces, Liquid Architectures and Online Domains, TaPRA Performance and New Technologies Inter-conference Event at York St John University, York, UK
2009 Notes on Apparitions and Returning, Gray, V & Walker, N. ‘Notes on a Return Symposium’, Laing Gallery, Newcastle
2008 Writing the Collages of Jack Pierson, presented at Writing Encounters International Symposium, York St John University, York