Collab is fab?

by saracomito

My husband is a great partner. I never really worry about what his mission is on a given day. I know whatever it is will go toward enhancing our quality of life in some way, whether large or small. Awwww, right? He’s not bad to look at either.

He has many talents but is not an accomplished literary writer. He has come to enjoy a lot of different types of writing, partly through the vast array of offerings at Orion headless (my second child). He has limited experience with writing poetry (my first love). However, when we occasionally do have a spontaneous shared impulse it’s fun to put pen to paper sequentially, and eke out whatever exquisite corpse decides to grace us with its laughable presence.

It’s most fun when we have our writer friend and neighbor Ryun Horn over for a cocktail. The results are an alchemical reaction that foments into frothy layers of giggly foam. Such silliness is just one way I’ve opened my eyes to the impulsive joy that playing well with others can create. Here’s an example of the shenanigans. See footnote below for translation.*

Some people write serious collaborative literature, and I want to learn to do that.

So, to that end, I went seeking a list of journals that support that kind of thing. I found something of an outdated list from the now-dormant Read Write Poem. I see a few names there that I recognize, journals that I know are vibrant showcases for exciting work. I can’t vouch for the currency of the links, as I didn’t personally test them. Also, Orion headless should be included, even though I’ve never to my memory featured collaborative poetry. But that kid will try anything twice.

I’d like to learn more about collaborating as a writer. How does one start? Scotch? Group stretching exercises? I’ve always been a loner when it comes to what I might be so bold as to call my craft. But I’m motivated to start looking into experiementing and “seeing other people” – it’s not you, it’s me.

What other collaborative writing resources are good? Can you share links to collaborative work you’ve done? Anyone wanna write a poem with me?

*Excerpt from a group writing play therapy exercise by Ryun Horn and Sara and John Comito:

“…coated in cornmeal then soaked in buttermilk catfish isn’t bad-ass chicks drivin’ trucks and spittin’ at street signs as they travel the orb and tell me what it’s like to be hungry no more after the infrastructure springing up from the boatlift weighs more than the boat. Seas are huge, lift is imminent accordion spiders the monkey on the piano forte was a wolf and wonder was his name-o, how windy shores laden with the fruits of their labor. Left with nothing worth a dollar if your life was worth a Monday parties on a Tuesday …”

Rules of the game: write a line of poetry and then fill in the first word of the next line. Fold the paper over so the next person only sees the first word. The next person then writes the rest of the line and fills in the first word of the next line for the next person. Continue until you can’t or don’t want to. One of us usually does a dramatic reading of the entire work. Believe me, it’s MUCH better than television.

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