Photo credit: Ray Busmann

Paul Outlaw



Artist’s Quote

I never knew what longing was


No, I never knew what longing was


Until I sold all my secrets and I threw away my tears


But I couldn’t shake the sleepless dreams

Luminary’s Quote

Then you came along
With your siren song
To tempt me to madness
I thought for awhile
That your poignant smile
Was tinged with the sadness
Of a great love for me
Yes, I was wrong
Again, I was wrong
– Billy Strayhorn



Strayhorn, Billy. “Lush Life,” Tempo Music, 1949.


Paul Outlaw is a writer, vocalist and theater maker, at home in the worlds of performance art, spoken word, text-based drama and American popular song in its various incarnations. His solo projects and collaborations have been presented across the United States and in Europe, where he lived full-time for ten years and currently maintains a part-time residence in Berlin. The central themes of his artistic practice are the constructs of race and sexual identity, and how violence has haunted them throughout Euro-American history.


Paul’s work is physical, sonically dynamic and unsettlingly funny: “I’m obsessed with exploring the relationship between performers, audiences and space, which can involve the unconventional use of traditional spaces or, conversely, the traditional use of unconventional spaces—and, of course, the unconventional use of unconventional spaces. Simply put, I’m fascinated by transformation and I believe in the transformative power of live performance.”