Skip to Content

Improvisation and Literature: A Brief Guide

Rob Wallace

Published: 2010-05-25

This article gives a general overview of the relationship between improvisation and literature by focusing on oral traditions, beat poetry, narrative representations of identity, and sound poetry, amongst other things. The article also includes a number of suggestions for further reading.

Available Files

  • Improvisation_and_Literature.pdf

    82 KB | application/pdf

  • improvisation_literature_guide.pdf

    76 KB | application/pdf


Improvisation implies a deep connection between the personal and the communal, self and world. A “good” improviser successfully navigates musical and institutional boundaries and the desire for self-expression, pleasing not only herself but the listener as well.

– Rob Wallace