Collaborations, a celebration of the East Village Poetry Scene, circa 1980
The family album of collaborative poems is 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 other 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 greatly enhanced with a selection of photos by Monica Claire Antonie chronicling the East Village poetry scene of the era.
The collection gathered here mixes some of the biggest names of the poetry world with a batch of poets who have at times been referred to as a 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 of the time was gritty, but it attracted writers, artists, musicians, filmmakers, dancers and uncategorizable 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.