Atlanta Poets Find Strength In Collaboration For ‘Duets’

Credit Myke Johns / WABE
Audio version of this story here.

Writing is often a solitary practice, but a pair of Atlanta poets found a way around that.

Paige Sullivan and Andi Rogers, both students at Georgia State, have spent the last year collaborating on a book of poetry. To help celebrate National Poetry Month, they visited “City Lights” to share their work and talk about what their project is all about.

Rogers says the collaboration began with a list of titles she compiled.

“I sent it to Paige,” Rogers says, “and said ‘we should try to take titles from this list and both write poems and see what happens.'”

What happened was a year-long collaboration on what will eventually be a chapbook of poetry titled “Duets.”

Sullivan and Rogers shared three of those titles in the studio, “The Break Up Cycle,” “Something Wanting, Wanting Something,” and “Last Looks.”

“We both started writing this when we were pretty angry,” Paige says, laughing. “And I think as a woman it’s always been tough for me to feel angry. Women are often described as ‘bitter’ when they’re angry, which sort of invalidates your angry in a way. Which makes me more angry.” 

Rogers agrees that the idea of bitterness came up for her while writing as well.

“In reading them aloud, you start to realize more the perception or how people are interpreting them,” she says. “And as we’ve read them aloud more and more, we’ve continued to edit them.” 

“I think the biggest thing I took away from it,” Rogers says, “is how amazing collaboration can be.”