The power of the prose poem, many of the contributors suggest, comes from the tension inherent to concision. Writers need not choose between narrative and lyric. The sentence is the drum, and the subject matter is limitless, as long as it fits in the box.
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Perhaps the true test of a prose poem is a piece of writing that is rejected by all genres: prose, poetry, flash fiction, nonfiction. The usual paragraph?
While The Field Guide feels at times essay heavy and poetry light, the joy of this tome comes from the lively debates that emerge between writers in love with the form and, more importantly, from the poetry itself which spans from comical to dark, elliptical to narrative. Each essay is followed by two prose poems, giving the reader a chance to pause between essays and admire the application of all this lofty craft talk.basremintuacur.cf
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McDowell and Rzicznek began this project while they were still in graduate school, aiming to make the prose poem—often thought of as the redheaded stepchild of poetry—an accessible and accepted form. McDowell and Rzicznek offer a detailed history of the prose poem, along with stories of their own initial encounters with and subsequent love for the form. While this collection of thirty-four brief essays and sixty-six prose poems ranges from the sarcastic and light-hearted to the socially conscious and serious, it is clear that each featured author has taken the care to demonstrate his or her passion for the form and to extend to each reader an invitation into the world of prose poems.
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I know my own search for a fitting voice that expresses all the experiential and poetic material that has shaped what and who speaks when I put pen to page can be maddening at times. Still, Byrd makes the struggle with voice and with the prose poem relatable and accessible for any reader.