Collaborations is a family album of collaborative poems, a celebration of a community of poets in the East Village of Manhattan at the end of the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s.
The book gathers poems written collaboratively between Greg Masters and a number of poets: Ted Berrigan, Jim Brodey, Cliff Fyman, Allen Ginsberg, Jim Hanson, Bob Holman, Gary Lenhart, Steve Levine, Elinor Nauen, Vito Ricci, Michael Scholnick, Lorna Smedman, Nellie Villegas, Tom Weigel, Jeffrey Cyphers Wright.
In addition, the book is enhanced with a selection of photos by Monica Claire Antonie chronicling the East Village poetry scene of the era.
The collection mixes some of the more recognizable names of the poetry world (Allen Ginsberg, Ted Berrigan) with a group of poets who have been referred to as the third generation of New York School poets centered around the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church. Likely there would be denials from some who’d prefer to not align themselves with any group.
The East Village neighborhood of downtown Manhattan in the 1970s and 80s was gritty, but it attracted writers, artists, musicians, filmmakers, dancers and uncategorization performers willing to forgo amenities for affordable rents. Collaboration was rampant among many of the locals – extending boundaries, crossing genres, reaching new audiences eager for expression and new forms that diverged from mainstream values. This new volume represents a segment of the collaborative activity, affording a peek at an artistic scene that though vibrant has been little documented.
Collaborations was awarded First Place in the 2020 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Copies still available for $25.00 (includes s/h in US).