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BRITISH-IRISH-POETS  1998

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS 1998

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Subject:

Re: Collaboration

From:

"Pam Casto" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

<[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 20 Jun 1998 10:57:02 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (82 lines)


----------
Ernest Slyman wrote:

Would like to inquire of this list's experiences with
collaboration when
writing poetry. Positive, doubtful and how so? Different or
similar
methodologies may lead to surprising harmonies? Strange
bedfellows, etc.

***I've not done any collaborative poetry that we tried to
publish, but I've worked with many on collaborative efforts,
hoping later to publish.  There are some positives and some
negatives.  The main thing, I think, is to clearly divide the
work into what belongs to who, in case of divorce.:-) In other
words, I think it's always best to have an agreement with the
person you're collaborating with that your work will always
remain your work, and his or her work, hers or his.  That's in
case of divorce, as I mentioned already, but also in case one
part of the collaboration is much stronger (more publishable)
than the other.  I'm always amazed at what comes of
collaborative efforts.  Somehow, by working intensely with
another, something gets tapped that can't be tapped while
working alone.   I guess it's a mutual sparking of ideas that's
beneficial to both.  And I think that each tries even harder,
make it a contest of outdoing or pleasing the other.  

What are drawbacks? Who's in favor of exploring the
collaborative
methodology? What examples have come forth?

***I have many examples of collaborative efforts on my
bookshelves.  Mostly in renga.  But I also have this great
little book called _Renga: A Chain of Poems_ by Octavio Paz,
Jacques Roubaud, Eduardo Sanguineti, Charles Tomlinson.  These
four European poets "disappeared underground for a week" and
came up with this, the result was a communal voice.  This is an
exciting book to me.  One of the drawbacks that I've seen on the
Internet, though, is where people start getting "cute"...too
cute...and end up ruining a good effort.  Humor's not what I'm
talking about....just the quick cute bit that's obviously not
well-thought out and really adds nothing (or very little) to the
communal effort.  I think seriousness is called for; being
serious enough to respect someone else's art by trying to turn
out equally good sections.  

I know of numerous successful ventures. George Simmers
collaborative at
Snakeskin, for one. What 's the future for collaborative work?
Should there
be group written poems?

***I think it's one of those things that will always have a
place.  Something that's always been, even, since even when
writing separately, writers sometimes write together too.  For
instance, Bishop and Lowell and Jarrell did a lot of helping
each other on their poems, drawing from each other, continuing
each other, etc. As is said in this _Renga_ book I have, such
efforts become "the place of confluence of different voices,
currents, traditions."  Sounds like the possibilities the
Internet provides, huh?::-)

Pam Casto ([log in to unmask])
Flash Fiction Writing Workshop 
http://home.att.net/~p.casto




And who would like to start a poem on this list?
Ernest Slyman
HomePage
www.geocities.com/soho/7514
email: [log in to unmask]





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