Tin House Plays Exquisite Corpse
Issue 43 of Tin House, themed “Play,” includes a poetry section titled, “Exquisite Corpse: Sure it’s a little game. You, me, our minds.” The game, as is explained, has its beginnings in 1925 at 54 rue du Chateau in Paris with Andre Breton and his friends: “one player writes down a phrase and passes it to another player, who writes her own phrase below the first, then folds the paper to hide the first phrase from the next person, who herself then writes, folds and passes, only the previous addition visible to the next person in line. The result is an accordioned piece of paper printed with a bewildering narrative that often has its own strange sense.” Others have emulated and adapted this game, and Tin House now throws in their own version with players Mary Jo Bang, Nick Flynn, Alex Lemon, Matthea Harvey, Eileen Myles, and D.A. Powell each writing their own section and the next player picking up the last line as their first.