(Kansas City, Missouri) - By choice or chance, some geniuses work alone. But history and social psychology tell us that creative success stems far more often from one-to-one collaboration. Think Marie and Pierre Curie, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
Writer Joshua Wolf Shenk sits down with best-selling Kansas author Robert Day on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., to discuss the elements and impact of creative chemistry and Shenk's new, science-backed book Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs.
The presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.
Drawing from new scientific research, Shenk makes an argument for the social foundations of creativity - and the pair as its primary embodiment. He examines how twosomes begin to talk, think, and even look like each other; how those who are most successful thrive on conflict; and why some collaborations flame out while others endure.
He looks, too, at effective competitive pairs: basketball's Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, sisters and advice columnists Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren.
Shenk's and Day's paths intersected at Washington College on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Both have served as director of the school's O'Neill Literary House, which Day founded.
Shenk, a curator, storyteller, and advisor for the acclaimed storytelling organization The Moth, has written for magazines including Harper's, Time, and The Atlantic, as well as for Slate and The New York Times. His first book, Lincoln's Melancholy, was named one of the best books of 2005 by The Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
Day is the author of the modern western classic The Last Cattle Drive, first published in 1977. Born and raised in Shawnee, Kansas, he earned bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Kansas and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Arkansas.
He taught initially at Fort Hays State University and then for 35 years at Washington College. He has written a total of seven books.
A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. Admission is free. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th and Baltimore.