English | Theory and Craft of Writing
W680 | 16592 | Bowman

3:35p 6:35p M

TOPIC: THE CRAFT OF POETRY: THE PROSE POEM
AUTHORIZATION OF INSTRUCTOR REQUIRED.

As Stuart Dybeck said, "The short prose piece so frequently inhabits a No-Man's land between prose and poetry, narrative and lyric, story and fable, joke and meditation, fragment and whole," so that "part of the fun writing them is the sense of slipping between the seams." In this course we will practice that either/neither world of the prose poem. We will write original prose poems each week. Prose poems tend to be short, but some are long, up to fifty pages. We will look at the history of the prose poem going back to early prose poems such as Baudelaire's Paris Spleen and Bertrand's Gaspard of the Night, as well as prose poems by Francis Ponge, Julio Cortazar, Henri Michaux, Gertrude Stein. We will discover the history and theory of the prose poem with a focus on the prose poem's revival of the last 30 years. We will also look at contemporary prose forms and try our hand at turning them into poems. Students will be required to write a prose poem each week based on our readings and discussions. We will also write a prose poem series for a final project and make handmade chapbooks. We will read several prose poem collections and anthologies.