Prose Poetry in Theory and Practice  book cover
1st Edition

Prose Poetry in Theory and Practice

ISBN 9781032058597
Published May 31, 2022 by Routledge
250 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Prose Poetry in Theory and Practice vigorously engages with the Why? and the How? of prose poetry, a form that is currently enjoying a surge in popularity. With contributions by both practitioners and academics, this volume seeks to explore how its distinctive properties guide both writer and reader, and to address why this form is so well suited to the early twenty-first century. With discussion of both classic and less well- known writers, the essays both illuminate prose poetry’s distinctive features and explore how this "outsider" form can offer a unique way of viewing and describing the uncertainties and instabilities which shape our identities and our relationships with our surroundings in the early twenty-first century. Combining insights on the theory and practice of prose poetry, Prose Poetry in Theory and Practice offers a timely and valuable contribution to the development of the form, and its appreciation amongst practitioners and scholars alike. Largely approached from a practitioner perspective, this collection provides vivid snapshots of contemporary debates within the prose poetry field while actively contributing to the poetics and craft of the form.

Table of Contents


Anne Caldwell and Oz Hardwick

1 Protean Manifestations and Diverse Shapes: Defining and Understanding Strategies of the Contemporary Prose Poem

Cassandra Atherton and Paul Hetherington

2 Prose Poetry and the Resistance to Narrative

Oz Hardwick

3 "In the Eye of the Beholder": Prose Poetry in Dialogue between Reader and Poet

Hannah Stone

4 Nobody’s Storybook: Reading Russell Edson for the Wrong Reasons

Nicholas Lauridsen

5 "Borders on edges, where skin stops, or begins": The Prose Poem's Relationship with the Discourses of Fashion and Food, with Particular Reference to Charles Baudelaire, Gertrude Stein, and Harryette Mullen

Susie Campbell

6 The Contemporary Vernacular: Exploring Intersections of Architecture and Prose Poetry

Anne Caldwell

7 "Image Machine": Gaspar Orozco’s Book of the Peony and the Prose Poem Sequence as Perceptual Trick

Helen Tookey

8 Writing the Prose Poem: An Insider’s Perspective on an Outsider Artform

Ian Seed

9 "A form of howling. A form of chanting. A form of looking out for each other": Poetics and Politics of the Contemporary Indian-English Prose Poem

Divya Nadkarni

10 Collaboration, Conversation, and Adaptation: The Prose Poetry Project and Renga Attitude

Jen Webb

11 Framing Catastrophe: The Ekphrastic Prose Poem

Patrick Wright

12 "An interlude suspended": Historical Biography through the Lens of Prose Poetry

Edwin Stockdale

13 Who are the Contemporary Symbolists? The Prose Poem and the Decorative-Subjective Approach

Ruth Stacey

14 One Foot; Many Places: The Prose Poem’s Art of Standing Still While Travelling

Jane Monson

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Anne Caldwell is a freelance writer and a lecturer in creative writing for the Open University and has completed a PhD in prose poetry and creative writing at the University of Bolton in 2020. She is a member of the International Poetry Studies Institute (I.P.S.I.) International Prose Poetry Project and the author of four collections of poetry.

Oz Hardwick is a European poet and academic, whose work has been widely published in international journals and anthologies. He has published nine full collections and chapbooks, including Learning to Have Lost (2018) which won the 2019 Rubery International Book Award for poetry. Oz is Professor of Creative Writing at Leeds Trinity University.


"This stimulating and authoritative collection of essays forms a conversation between poet-academics from all over the world about the 'why' and 'how' of prose poetry, this 'chimera of literary forms.' Prose poetry is enticingly considered as a 'circling sphere...a galaxy in itself,' a 'spiral, meditative process,' and a 'quotidian epiphany.' The subversion and surprise of prose poems themselves vibrates through this critical discourse."

- Dr Maggie Butt, Poet and Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Middlesex University