HOW2New Writing Virginia Woolf

about this section:

Poems in their exploratory, innovative and hybrid nature are of particular interest, as well as blurred genre forms that include visual, narrative and dramatic elements of fiction and dialogue. Each contribution in this section includes a "Working Note" briefly describing the writing process of the project attempted.



Collaborations have been a significant feature of many innovative writing and artistic communities. This section contains examples of collaborations between writers (Frances Presley and Elizabeth James; Sheila Murphy and Charles Alexander) as well as collaborations between writer and artist (Lyn Hejinian and Emilie Clark; Susan Bee and Charles Bernstein). Presley and James have also performed Neither the One nor the Other which gives a further layer to the collaborative process. The circumstance and dynamic of a collaboration can vary widely from Lyn Hejinian and Emilie Clark's time-specific and site-specific The Lake (produced on a retreat to Lake Wentworth together), to longer exchanges over time (Presley and James' Neither One nor the Other; Murphy and Alexander's "Prayer, Rupture Dwelling") to a citing/siting of one work within another (Bee and Bernstein's "Sprung Monuments").

This section also considers the cultural production of collaborations. Frances Presley, for example, suggests that collaborations still receive little critical attention. This may be because of the challenges they pose to constructions of authorship, agency, and identity. While Presley finds a relative dearth of collaborations in the United Kingdom compared to the United States, she is wary of tracking a predominantly American tradition. She suggests that there have been important British influences on American collaborations (for example, Angela Carter's influence in Lyn Hejinian and Carla Harryman's "The Wide Road") and that early key collaborations exist between British women poets (Denise Riley and Wendy Mulford's No Fee). Finally, we feature an overview by Rena Rosenwasser of the Kelsey St. Press's collaboration series. This invaluable series has featured some of the most breathtaking collaborations between current writers and artists in the past two decades.

It is to be hoped that the Kelsey St. Press series of collaborations will continue for many years to come. One other press that will be focussing on textual collaborations is the new [ factorial !press & magazine ] which will publish books, posters, and a journal. Please contact for more information.




Frances Presley and Elizabeth James -- “Neither the One Nor the Other”

Lyn Hejinian and Emilie Clark -- “The Lake”

Susan Bee and Charles Bernstein -- Sprung Monuments

Sheila Murphy and Charles Alexander -- “Prayer, Rupture, Dwelling”

Rena Rosenwasser -- “Kelsey St. Press's Collaboration Series”


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