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ink drawing
Many of Our Books are Illustrated
During the last bunch of years, James Bertolino and I have written many collaborative poems together, as well as our own. We often write beside the pond, passing a journal back and forth between us as ducks fly in and out, and the dragonflies. While I'm waiting for Jim to finish his lines (which doesn't take long), I tend to draw things in another journal. The illustration above is our dog Blue. We don't have any fish in the pond because the heron, the kingfisher and the bullfrogs have collaboratively eaten them all.

The Collaborative Poets— Bertolino and Boyle

The collaborative poetry that Jim and I have written for over two decades (really!) began in a crowded, noisy tavern. We were trying to talk, but to no avail. Couldn't get beyond the questions "Wha…?" and "Huh?" So I got out my journal, and we began to write our conversation instead of talking. Those lines turned magically into poems. Not sure why. authors
The Collaborators
You can learn more about James Bertolino on his website.

Each of these books is the product of writing poems with a very good friend.

dog in the pond
Blue Cooling Off in the Pond

This dog of ours is an incredible personality. She is illustrated in the drawing above. Blue is serious about her job of herding (us), has a good sense of humor (tells lots of jokes), and is the best friend and sworn enemy of our cat Stitch (who doesn't like to come out to the pond because of the hawks).

About Collaboration Between Poets

ink splotchWe continue to write collaboratively. The process of writing poetry in tandem with another brain produces uncommon results. There is no choice in that matter. Once one has been writing with a borrowed brain for some time, ones own solo writing is changed because that brain of yours is suddenly open to the nooks and crannies that were closed before. Now, if you see a crack in a door in a dark place of your brain where the light is streaming through, you go there, you open that door, and you start a conversation with whatever happens to be in there. Or not. You still have a brain to use, after all. So sometimes you might quietly shut that door and back away.

But the point is, writing collaboratively makes your brain more accessible and useful to you. We need as many accessible brains as possible these days. I would suggest that anyone can benefit from writing poetry collaborations. Save the world: write collaboratively.

This link will take you to a pdf interview from 2004 by Margaret Bikman who asks me about my connections to poetry, including collaborative. My answers are pretty much true even today.