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 21st 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
3 "In the Eye of the Beholder": Prose Poetry in Dialogue between Reader and Poet
4 Nobody’s Storybook: Reading Russell Edson for the Wrong Reasons
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
6 The Contemporary Vernacular: Exploring Intersections of Architecture and Prose Poetry
7 "Image Machine": Gaspar Orozco’s Book of the Peony and the Prose Poem Sequence as Perceptual Trick
8 Writing the Prose Poem: An Insider’s Perspective on an Outsider Artform
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
10 Collaboration, Conversation, and Adaptation: The Prose Poetry Project and Renga Attitude
11 Framing Catastrophe: The Ekphrastic Prose Poem
12 "An interlude suspended": Historical Biography through the Lens of Prose Poetry
13 Who are the Contemporary Symbolists? The Prose Poem and the Decorative-Subjective Approach
14 One Foot; Many Places: The Prose Poem’s Art of Standing Still While Travelling
Anne Caldwell is a freelance writer, a lecturer in creative writing for the Open University and 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. She was co-editor of the Valley Press Anthology of Prose Poetry, (Valley, 2019) alongside Oz Hardwick. She also jointly co-ordinated the first symposium of Prose Poetry, with Oz Hardwick at Leeds Trinity University, where many of the essays within this book were first presented. She worked for the National Association for Writers in Education for over ten years and is taking up a Royal Literary Fellowship at the University of Huddersfield from September 2021. Her latest prose poetry collection is Alice and the North (2020, Valley Press).
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 (Canberra: IPSI, 2018) which won the 2019 Rubery International Book Award for poetry, and most recently the prose poetry sequence Wolf Planet (Clevedon: Hedgehog, 2020). He has also edited or co-edited several anthologies, including The Valley Press Anthology of Prose Poetry (Scarborough: Valley Press, 2019) with Anne Caldwell. Oz has held residencies in the UK, Europe, the US, and Australia, and has performed internationally at major festivals and intimate soirees. He has also published widely on Creative Writing, on medieval art and literature, and on medievalism in its varied guises. Oz is Professor of English at Leeds Trinity University, where he leads the postgraduate Creative Writing programmes.
"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