10 a.m.–3 p.m.
What the Prose Poem Can Do
The French poet Baudelaire famously dreamed of "the miracle of a poetic prose" and put the prose poem on the world literary map. This hybrid form has frequently confused poets: what is it? Prosy poetry or poetic prose? Or is it a third thing?
More radical than free verse, prose poetry abandons not only rhyme and meter but the traditional poetic line itself in favor of the sentence and paragraph as basic units. In this class, the teaching artist, who has been writing and publishing prose poems for over 40 years, will illustrate for participants the unique capacity of the prose poem for reaching into new, sometimes visionary content and tone, and speak in ways that ordinary poetry and prose cannot.
Tracing the modern prose poem from its origin in 19th century France, we will sample contemporary American poets in whose work the prose poem has taken root as a major mode of expression, including Nin Andrews, Robert Bly, Louis Jenkins, and Naomi Shihab Nye. Participants will write prose poems of their own in both narrative and descriptive styles, experiencing some of the prose poem's amazing range and variety.
Small copy fee.