Friday, June 10, 2011

meeting through the walls

Over the past three months, nooshin azadi and I collaborated on a series of poems that are now available in our self-published book meeting through the wall.

These 30 poems each deal with a pair of contradictions, such as light and dark, right and wrong, empty and full, joy and sorrow, etc. The "wall" of the book's title refers to the divide between these "opposites" where we tried to reach a common understanding.

Our method was to separately write a set of seven lines on one half of the pairs. Since nooshin lives in Tehran (and I'm in Chicago), we exchanged these short poems via email. Once we'd both finished our seven-lines, we alternated writing the four lines of a concluding stanza together.

It was a fascinating process, and I learned a lot from the way she approached these topics. The different sections of the poems can have different styles, and different points of view, but we tried to resolve these differences by the time we reached the conclusion.

If you'd like to order the book, it's available in paperback at for $7 US. And if you do, please leave a comment here letting us know what you think. There may be more collaborations to come...

An update... nooshin asked me to add this lovely poem and comment to the post:

you think you own many things
but when you share what you have
you understand owning is not having
but giving

you think you see many things
but when you share what you see
you understand seeing is not eyeing
but whying

you think you know many things
but when you share what you know
you understand knowledge is not knowing
but forgetting

(Francis... our collaboration was a journey into awareness... thanks!)
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