Favorite Lines from The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry (get it? Lines!)

  • “I’ve always felt that line breaks would destroy the drifting and circular intelligence of these poems, the way they move through thought and into silence, from rumination to description and back again. For lack of a better term, they feel horizontal in their rhetorical designs, like waves rushing up the beach, slowly flattening out into foam and a thin sheet of water, then receding back into the depths.” — James Harms, on Killarney Clary
  • “For me, the prose poem is capacious and interior. Like a mirror, it holds as much as the world it reflects. I love to step inside. Things are a little strange in there, yes. But you don’t have to stay in that one room, or even that house. You can keep walking, and find all manner of thing. The ocean, for example, is right outside the door.” — Jeffrey Skinner
  • “…form and voice within the prose poem are not separate; they are seed and tree.” — Alexander Long
  • “If for human beings the most crucial division is that 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. …The prose poem sits close to the rot.” — Mark Wallace
  • “I tend to head instinctively into prose when a poem has become too much about line breaks or some insisted-upon metaphor keeps shrugging its shoulders. There’s something about the writing of a prose poem that seems to promise open land and distance in which you can lose yourself.” — Nancy Eimers

 

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