In Av and Elul of 5764 three poets – Ashira Morgenstern of Jerusalem, Rivkah Pontos of Milwuakee and Esther Cameron of Madison, Wisconsin – produced the following Combined Poems:
The concept of the Combined Poem is explained as follows:
Just before his passing, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov introduced the concept of "binyanim" - structures formed when two souls interact in a cooperative way.
In 1989, Ashira, a student of Breslov chassidus, decided to apply the principle of binyanim to "cooperative poetry." She contacted other poets and proposed they each compose a set number of lines for the same title, and the individual poems were combined by the poem's moderator/title giver according to a set of predetermined rules. Most important -- contributing poets do not see what the others have written until they submit their lines.
The order of presentation and line insertion in the combined poem is simply according to the date and time the moderator receives each e-mail submission, with the title-giver's line always appearing last.
Individual poets retain the copyrights to their poems.