Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry

Here’s an excerpt from my essay in this recently released collection:
What to make of the fact that some crucial early practitioners of prose poems, Baudelaire and Rimbaud especially, are obsessed with death and decay? The link isn’t accidental. Of course the connection between a subject matter that defies bourgeois norms and a form that challenges conventional literary distinctions has often been discussed relative to the prose poem’s creation. It comes into being at the axis of writing about things powerful people don’t want to hear in a way they don’t want to understand. But its social and political condition also connects to my sense of the crampedness of the prose poem and its proximity to originary divisions. If for human beings the most crucial division may be between life and death, and the original genre division is that between poetry and prose, then matters of life and death must lie very near to what makes the prose poem. Anyone taking up the violation of the prose poem comes quickly upon the materiality of the body and peoples’ ability to destroy each other and everything else. The prose poem sits close to the rot.

The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry contains short essays about prose poetry by 34 writers along with some examples of prose poetry by those same writers. It’s quite a different group of writers than I usually find my work in the company of, and I’m glad to be featured in it.

For more details and more excerpts, check out their webpage on the Rose Metal Press website.

Although unfortunately I won’t be able to be there, upcoming launch parties for the book are taking place in Kalamazoo, Portland, and Chicago:

Tuesday, May 4
Nancy Eimers, Gary L. McDowell, Kathleen McGookey, William Olsen, and F. Daniel Rzicznek reading from The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry at Kalamazoo Books, Kalamazoo, MI, 6:30 pm.
Free and open to the public.
Kalamazoo Books
2413 Parkview
Kalamazoo, MI 49008

Sunday, May 23
Andrew Michael Roberts and Carol Guess reading from The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry at Powell’s Books, Portland, OR, at 4:00 pm
Free and open to the public.
Powell’s Books
3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214

Thursday, May 27
Launch Party for The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry at The Book Cellar, Chicago, IL, at 7:00 pm
Featuring Joe Bonomo, John Bradley, Maurice Kilwein Guevara, David Lazar, Gary L. McDowell, Amy Newman, F. Daniel Rzicznek, Michael Robins, and Kathleen Rooney
Free and open to the public.
The Book Cellar
4736 North Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625

The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry:
Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice
Edited by Gary L. McDowell and F. Daniel Rzicznek
April 2010
ISBN 978-0-9789848-8-5
224 pages

Nin Andrews • Joe Bonomo • John Bradley • Brigitte Byrd • Maxine Chernoff • David Daniel • Denise Duhamel • Nancy Eimers • Beckian Fritz Goldberg • Ray Gonzalez • Arielle Greenberg • Kevin Griffith • Carol Guess • Maurice Kilwein Guevara • James Harms • Bob Hicok • Tung-Hui Hu • Christopher Kennedy • David Keplinger • Gerry LaFemina • David Lazar • Alexander Long • Kathleen McGookey • Robert Miltner • Amy Newman • William Olsen • Andrew Michael Roberts • Michael Robins • Mary Ann Samyn • Maureen Seaton • David Shumate • Jeffrey Skinner • Mark Wallace • Gary Young

A wide-ranging gathering of 34 brief essays and 66 prose poems by distinguished practitioners, The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry is as personal and provocative, accessible and idiosyncratic as the genre itself. The essayists discuss their craft, influences, and experiences, all while pondering larger questions: What is prose poetry? Why write prose poems? With its pioneering introduction, this collection provides a history of the development of the prose poem up to its current widespread appeal. Half critical study and half anthology, The Field Guide to Prose Poetry is a not-to-be-missed companion for readers and writers of poetry, as well as students and teachers of creative writing.

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