About this time last year, we met to talk about an idea Kirsten had for a collaborative project and Write Together came into shape. A year later and we’ve run the project three times. We’re really grateful to the writers who have participated. Write Together has always been about more than the final publication but we have been really impressed by the work that has come out of writers in conversation and creating together. Write Together is an evolving project and we’re always grateful for any feedback about how people found the experience.
In this issue we have four works, each of them takes a different approach which demonstrates how creatively the writers have worked within the challenges and constraints of Write Together.
Jo McNeice and Sarah Scott have produced two poems which speak to each other and in response to an illustration by Florence Harrison. Scott talks about her and Jo’s shared interest in ekphrasis and Harrison’s beautiful illustration is a really great sun for these works to orbit. McNeice and Scott chose to write a piece each. We love the way this approach allows us to see the works in conversation with each other in the same way the writers were in conversation.. It is rewarding to see the connection and echoes in both the works.
The Body Might Be a Jar by Modi Deng and Grace Tong holds some of the long-distance it was written in. The work is a seamless collaboration that feels like two voices speaking as one. It is a compelling and affecting piece which holds its process in its bones. While we were formatting this piece for the publication the sense of the hemispheres was palpable as all of us worked through each other’s night, leaving messages to be found when the other awoke.
Alex Medland and Gabi Lardies have created a really haunting story about the end of the world and a body transformation. Reading this during some of the heaviest rain we’ve had in a long time added to the atmosphere of the work. Medland and Lardies talk about the work as a collage and this is part of the work’s success. It’s a slight story which leaves space for the reader to write the narrative in several available readings.
Volet Martin; Martin Volet by Lorenz Poeschl is a fascinating work which, toward the end, uses a cut-up technique. Poeschl’s collaborator is a machine. He explains in his process note about how this collaboration took Poeschl’s writing out of his hands. This collaboration has created something really compelling that feels at once the writer’s own and completely interrupted by an outside force. Poeschl’s work is a thrilling read which assembles real and imagined close to each other describing them with equal voice so all merge.
Thanks again to all our participants and we look forward to meeting new Write Together participants in the new year.
Kirsten and Pip