Joshua Wolf Shenk with Jess Van Nostrand: How Collaboration Fuels Creativity

September 22, 7:30 - 8:45pm at TOWN HALL: tickets $5

And join in a creative pairs workshop with Joshua on September 23rd at The Project Room!

For every John Lennon and Mark Zuckerberg, there’s a Paul McCartney and a Sheryl Sandberg. According to Joshua Wolf Shenk, creativity and innovation work best in pairs. Powers of Two analyzes historical dynamic duos — from politicians and musicians, to artists and business partners. His “eye-opening, illuminating” account highlights the ways these partnerships are created and how these dyads mutually propel one another to greatness. He’ll outline the stages of a successful partnership — meeting, confluence, archetypes, distance, the infinite game, and interruption — explaining why creativity hinges on collaboration. He’ll appear in conversation with Jess Van Nostrand, the Founder of The Project Room.

Presented by: Town Hall, The Project Room, and Elliott Bay Book Company, as part of the Arts & Culture series. Sponsored by City Arts.
Tickets: $5.
Town Hall member benefits: Priority seating, discounted onsite book sales.
Doors open: 6:30 p.m.
Learn more: Quotes from famous creative pairs

About the Presenter:


Joshua Wolf Shenk is an essayist, author, and curator based in Los Angeles. His most recent book, Powers of Two: Seeking the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs (Eamon Dolan Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). His magazine pieces include cover stories inHarper’s, Time, and The Atlantic, where his essay "What Makes Us Happy?" was the most read article in the history of that magazine’s website. His work has also appeared in Slate,The New Yorker, The New York Times, and the national bestseller Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression, edited by Nell Casey. His first book, Lincoln’s Melancholy, was named one of the best books of 2005 by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, and won awards from The Abraham Lincoln Institute, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and the National Mental Health Association.

When he’s not reporting and writing, Josh spends his time leading and supporting creative communities. He is a curator, storyteller and advisor to The Moth; vice-chair emeritus of the board of directors, he currently serves on the general council. He is also a past director of the Rose O'Neill Literary House at Washington College, where he curated programs and festivals and directed a small literary press. Shenk consults to the Erikson Institute for Education and Research at the Austen Riggs Center, where he develops creative programs, including Arts in Mind, a conversation series on the intersections of the creative arts and psychology co-hosted by the New School in New York City.

Josh has taught creative writing at The New School, New York University, Washington College, the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, and in private groups. His other publications include In Lincoln's Hand, co-edited by Harold Holzer, an anthology of original original manuscripts with original essays by luminaries including John Updike, Toni Morrison, and Tony Kushner.

Other honors include residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell, the Blue Mountain Center, and the Norman Mailer Center; a Rosalynn Carter fellowship in mental health journalism at the Carter Center; a Japan Society Media Fellowship; and the Frank Whiting scholarship at the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. Josh was a 2005-06 fellow in non-fiction literature at the New York Foundation for the Arts.

He lives in Silverlake and is the father to a four-year-old boy who, like Josh, has webbed toes.