Arcadia Art Share: Scrabble for Surrealists

By Purnell T. Cropper | April 26, 2011

By Purnell Cropper, Social Media Manager

Torrential rain is the mother of confinement, and consequently invention. A couple summers ago, I visited a friend who was an artist in residence at Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. A downpour stranded a few of us in the main cabin. We got bored and started thinking what to do.

One person suggested a group writing exercise, Exquisite Corpse; we would create a Frankenstein’s monster of words. Someone else mentioned Scrabble. Inspired by my last meal—Tex-Mex—I wondered aloud what would happen if we combined the two games. The other foul-weather captives liked the idea. Wordnerdery ensued.

How to Play

After placing a word on the board, write some verse incorporating the word; fold the paper over to hide the line(s); and pass the paper to the next player, who repeats the process. A collage-like poem is born.

When the game is finished, someone reads the Exquisite Corpse poem aloud in dramatic fashion.

The most difficult part of the game: finding four pens that are in working order. Only one pen is really necessary, but a multi-color Exquisite Corpse poem looks pretty interesting.

Feel free to post photos or transcriptions of your collaborative creations at

Learn more about Arcadia Art Share.