Writing together: conjunctive collaboration, scholarship and prose poetry
journal contributionposted on 2020-10-31, 00:00 authored by Paul Hetherington, Cassandra AthertonCassandra Atherton
While there is a good deal of literature about collaboration and teamwork it is often in disciplines other than literary studies and creative writing. Relatively few writers have reflected explicitly on their collaborative work – and, indeed, writers are frequently characterised as sole creators, valued for their individuality and originality. However, in an environment where collaborative work is being given increased emphasis in the academy, and where there is broad recognition that claims to autonomy by creative artists are doubtful, this paper reflects on its authors’ experience of a writerly collaborative partnership that grew out of a mutual interest in prose poetry and creative practice, and which resulted in a co-authored monograph on prose poetry for Princeton University Press. This collaborative relationship, which began with modest aims, has been characterised by inventiveness and trust and has developed in unexpected ways. It may be understood as an example of what Brien and Brady call called Joint Collaboration, or what John-Steiner characterises as Integrative Collaboration. However, the authors propose the alternative term, Conjunctive Collaboration, as a way of characterising the new connections and combinations that their collaborative relationship has brought.