The Poetry Project


On Collaboration and Its Expanded Form — 5-Session Workshop with Nora Treatbaby and Rosie Stockton

In this five session workshop, we will explore, enact, and put pressure on the theories and practices of poetic collaboration. Why do we take for granted that writing is solitary practice? What is at stake in the dissolution of authorship? We are interested in what we can discover in paying attention to both process and results when we relinquish authorial control and work on writing with another, word by word, line by line, project by project.

Juliana Spahr writes that collaboration is a means to say things you are too afraid to say alone, things that we do not have the strength for by ourselves. We can wax forever about collaboration’s momentary displacement of the individual prerogative into the collective contingency, but what if the underlying beauty is simply in asking for help? This workshop is born from the realization that we cannot love other people rightly without allowing our friends and comrades to collaborate on that love.

We will study and practice forms of collaboration including entanglements, duets, epistolaries, plagiarism, theft, and call and response. We will spend our sessions studying the method and form of collaborative texts and generating new collaborative works in class and at home. Readings may include Lyn Hejinian and Leslie Scalapino, Hannah Black and Juliana Huxtable, Bill Berkson and Bernadette Mayer, Bruce Boone and Bob Glück, Mohammed Zenia and Tenaya Nasser, Fred Moten and Stefano Harney, Kevin Killian and Dodie Bellamy, Deleuze and Guattari, and more.

*Note: many of the prompts we will be generating involve actively collaborating with another poet, artist, or piece of text. We invite you to sign up with a collaborator(s), or sign up with “text” in mind you’d like to collaborate with.

Collaborators need to register individually for the workshop.