It’s finally here. I have included a chapter for your interest.
best from Kaye
Table of contents:
- The prose poem
- Starting a prose poem
- The first few lines
- How long should it be?
- Write about life
- Other ways to paint pictures with words
- The creative process (drafting two poems)
- Drafting and Crafting
- Prompts and more prompts
- Who is your audience?
- Not enough information
- Too much information
- Naming your poems
- Point of view
- To use punctuation or not?
- Using tenses
- Make the poem active and alive
- Descriptive words
- An easy fix
- Ending the poem/the last few lines
- Examples of prose poems
- Are prose poems stories?
- Dialogue in prose poetry
- Writing two more drafts
- Minimalism and Compression
- Types of prose poems
- Ways to write fresh poems
- More tips
- Mastering the prose poem
- How do I know whether my poem is good?
- Workshop groups
- Lots more tips
About the author
This book addresses the beginning, intermediate or advanced writer of any age or grade level who desires to understand and write prose poetry. I hope that the interested writer will learn to love writing and exploring this liberating genre.
As poetry editor for The Bacopa Literary Review, I have edited over a thousand poetry submissions and read many prose poems that required only minor revisions or a little guidance to become publishable. Most of the insights in this book apply to great writing in general. I have focused the text on prose poems, popular with writers because of their unlimited potential for playful creativity. I invite you to accompany me through each chapter and prompt, to understand the spirit of this intriguing form. If you follow the step-by-step process of learning, you will have written several prose poems of your own by the end of the book.
This is the second reference book in the 35 Tips series. These little books include only the essence, the facts, the bottom line. This textbook focuses on two essential qualities of great prose poetry: brevity and specifics.
The writer will:
- learn to recognize a prose poem
- learn to understand prose poems
- learn the best techniques for writing a prose poem
- draft several prose poems from prompts
- revise and polish these prose poems
- practice the craft of writing prose poems
- use the resource list for further exploration of prose poetry
The prose poem
If you love eccentric, beautiful things, you will enjoy prose poetry.
Here are tips about prose poetry:
- Prose poetry speaks about the truth of the world as the poet sees it.
- Poetry should be clear, understandable and make sense. Otherwise, poems are just words splashed on paper.
- Writers of prose poems do not usually use the rhymes, rhythms and line breaks of traditional
- In prose poetry, each word chosen is important.
- Prose poetry skillfully uses language that inspires the reader.
- Prose poets hope to amaze and delight.
- Prose poetry might suggest its meaning with poetic language such as metaphors or similes.
- Writers of prose poems concentrate on scenes, description and surprise.
- Prose poetry can have a story line, but does not need a story line.
- Prose poetry has a center of gravity the way the earth has a molten core.
- Prose poets aim to arouse an emotional response in the reader.
- Prose poetry can consist of two lines, or a few paragraphs, or longer.
- Prose poetry includes full sentences.
- Prose poetry has a narrative shape on the page: a sentence, a few sentences, a paragraph. That’s one reason it is called prose poetry, because it is written in the shape of
- Writers should read their prose poems aloud because this is the best way to hear mistakes, catch skips in rhythm or meaning, inconsistencies, check the pacing and tense, or identify shifts in point of view.
Here is the first stanza from the prose poem “Big Bang” by Leslie Anne Mcilroy, published in The Bacopa Literary Review 2016:
Date with Syzygy
More than once, the sun and the moon doing things they’ve never, trading light for dark, all eclipse and aerial acrobatics. The stars, blinking with confusion, bumping into clouds in broad daylight, dawn and dusk dancing in drag, roosters crowing at twilight, and me, here at the window, waiting for a universe.
Prose poems and the beginning prose poem writer
A prose poem format offers the beginning writer a fantastic trampoline to bounce around creativity. A prose poem can be about any subject. The following chapters will help you write without rambling, choosing words and images that will move your readers. Many a beginning poet has broken through their self-doubt via this pathway. It is a lot of fun, but stick to the tips and suggestions until you have read and written lots of poems.
Don’t bend the rules until you know them.
At the end of the book is a list of resources to inspire the beginner and excite the seasoned writer.