Poets aren’t generally known for being great collaborators. Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads (1798) is a rare example of a co-authored canonical work of poetry. Renga: 100 poems, by John Kinsella and Paul Kane, has some similarities to Lyrical Ballads. Like those of its Romantic precedent, the poems in Renga are single-authored, the collaboration being project-based rather than an exercise in joint composition. Like Lyrical Ballads, Renga reanimates an old form for contemporary times. But unlike Lyrical Ballads, Renga is a work of explicit (and equal) dialogue. Each poet takes his turn in poetic conversation, inspired by the Japanese Renga form, a collaborative venture in which poets take turns composing linked stanzas. As Kane describes in his Foreword (Kinsella gets the Afterword), ‘Call and respond was the modality, though John and I took turns in taking the lead.’
David McCooey reviews 'Renga: 100 poems' by John Kinsella and Paul Kane
Renga: 100 poems
by John Kinsella and Paul Kane
GloriaSMH Press, $29.95 pb, 115 pp, 9780994527578
David McCooey is a prize-winning poet and critic. His latest collection of poems,...
By this contributor
Read the rest of this article by purchasing a subscription to ABR Online, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.
If you are already a subscriber, click here, or on the ‘Log In’ tab in the top right hand corner of the screen, and enter your username and password to log in. If you have logged in but are still seeing this message your subscription to ABR Online may have expired. Please contact us or click here to renew your subscription to ABR Online. More information about ABR Online can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Leave a comment
Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.
NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.