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The Breaking Project

Creative Disruptions in Thinking, Writing, and Creating

Welcome to The Breaking Project!

This is a resource for the sharing of writing, images, and film that come from experiences of Breaking — Breaking away, in, up, through, down, out, . . . ground, free, . . . the cycle, the spell, the mold. Breaking is a way to:

  • reconsider the frameworks we come from
  • view the viewing-lenses we look through
  • disrupt to create.

Radical, conscious change is:multi-media and interdisciplinary.  Any form that interests you interests us. Please take a look at what’s on the Project now, participate in any of the discussions, and then create your own Breaking Project! 

In addition to reading/viewing, there are (at least) 4 ways to participate in this project:

You can ADD A PIECE.


You can USE THE WORKBOOK  to CATALYZE your and/or your students' own writing, creating/artmaking, and breaking . . . and/or to offer writers/artists feedback on their work/enter into dialogue with them.

You can ADD TO THE WORKBOOK new prompts, catalyzing agents, queries, ways out, ways in . . . 

This is an open project--

it is not finished--

we want you to send us your work--

so email us!


Alice Lesnick and Emma Wippermann, editors and

CONTENTS, so far

Hungry Ghosts, Jody Cohen

An Introduction: Breaking into Breaking, Alice Lesnick

“...I’ve called this sourcebook Breaking because it focuses on the necessity and creativity of the work people do to break bonds, patterns, and histories; break into new thoughts and forms; and in so doing change themselves, what they write and know, and the world.”

Breaking: A Life Story in 10 Fragments,  Anne Dalke

Been a Long Time Leaving, Rob Goldberg

Learning from Extinctions . . . and Life, Paul Grobstein

The Role of Smoking Cigarettes in the Education of a Young Jew, Jody Cohen

Walking Poem, Alice Lesnick, Emma Wippermann,

       and You, if you want - comments are not only comments but extensions.

Breaking Down, Samantha Martinez

4-Panel Image Sequence, Elizabeth Catanese

       Image 1     Image 3

       Image 2     Image 4

It's about finding a whole and releasing a hole. Breaking happens first. 

untitled, Jessye Cohen-Dan

Truth and Power in Education, Bharath Vallabha

Breaking in Six Degrees, Hallie Garrison

untitled, Elizabeth Catanese


breaking the surface, breaking through surfaces  . . . freedom to go way down deep, into the unknown and usually unseen . . . down, through, then -- ? . . . the ripples out . . . 


Use these catalysts to work and (p)re-visit Breaking pieces:

-- explore, examine, use, and create prompts

-- ask and answers questions with yourself and others to teach and learn 

General Breaking Prompts

General entry questions, quotes, and provocations for beginning disruption -- please feel to add to these.   Their purpose is to invite visions and revisions -- re-mappings, new or dissolved boundaries, sudden illuminations. . .   They aim to help create meaning, dialogue, new fragments and new [re]compositions.

Piece-Specific Breaking Prompts

Click on a given link below to find, and if you like add, prompts for further writing, thinking, and creating that take-off from a specific piece. 

Workbooked: Learning from Extinctions . . . and Life, Paul Grobstein

Workbooked: 4-Panel Image Sequence, Elizabeth Catanese

Workbooked: Breaking: A Life Story in 10 Fragments, Anne Dalke

Workbooked: The Role of Smoking Cigarettes in the Education of a Young Jew, Jody Cohen

Workbooked: Truth and Power in Education, Bharath Vallabha


sources of inspiration           pedagogical groundwork           linked endeavors       community connections        (others you add)



Including you? As Ursula Le Guin says in The Dispossessed, we are "Members of a community, not elements of a collectivity" and "there [are] as many emotions [here] as there [are] people."