Collaborative writing anthology
Steve and I will be included in a really rad anthology of collaborative writing coming out from Black Lawrence Press next summer: THEY SAID: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing. The editors, Simone Muench and Dean Rader, recently published a cool book of sonnets called SUTURE. Each sonnet opens with a line from a famous sonnet and then continues with a patchwork of their lines. They describe the poems as "'The Frankenstein Sonnets,' since each poem is a string of the old with the new, and in some cases, the living with the dead." Jill Talbot and Justin Lawrence Daugherty frequently publish creative nonfiction collaborations. (Always wonderful.) When an earlier version of our fractured narrative essay "Imaginary Friends" was published in GRIST we also used the Frankenstein metaphor to describe the process of creating our monster. We're fond of it (and naturally like the revision even better than the original, so I won't link that here!).
The English Department runs a series of afternoon presentations where colleagues talk about their research. Steve and I are thinking about doing one on collaborative writing. It will be in the spring, before this anthology comes out, unfortunately. But I've just ordered another anthology that collects Meg Tuite's EXQUISITE DUETS, a microflash/poetry series where she gave the same first line to two writers and then let them run with it. (Among the many great flash writers: Kathy Fish, James Claffey, Jonathan Cardew, Paul Beckman, Jen Michalski). You can check out the "Exquisite Duets" column in the magazine jmww, and a description of the Surrealists' collaborative experiments in the 1920s (known as "exquisite corpse") here.
I can't say that collaborations with Steve (sometimes we publish together as Alvarado O'Brien, sometimes with both our names) always ran smoothly. We're very different writers. ("Alvarado O'Brien is dead," he declared dramatically, after we tried and failed to produce a collaborative 100-word story to accompany our interview at 100 WORD STORY. I'm not so sure that Alvarado O'Brien won't be resurrected.)
The new cover by Richard Every is great.
Here's a list of the writers in THEY SAID, some of them familiar Bay Area names. Dean Rader is local (though I've never met him, and just missed seeing him at the Book Festival in Berkeley), and teaches at USF. Simone Muench (whom I've also never met, but who kindly contributed an enthusiastic blurb for THE MISSING GIRL) lives in Chicago, where she teaches at Lewis University.
There seems to be a lot going on lately, with more publications and readings coming up in October. I'll probably have little to no writing news all winter. (Maybe some more chapbook reviews, if I'm lucky.)
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