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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 The Ordinary and the Unreal : American and Australian Prose Poetry
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'The prose poem, Silliman notes, is ‘perfect for hallucinated, fantastic and dreamlike contents, for pieces with multiple locales and times squeezed into few words’ (1989: 81). This, he argues, is because the quotidian nature of prose is often unexpectedly subverted by encounters with the magnificent. This paper uses Silliman’s assertion as a starting point to discuss the way in which the American tradition of surrealist prose poetry employs recurring demotic elements – such as dalliance and anecdotes – to introduce the extraordinary. This, in turn, creates a comic or absurdist dimension in such works, underscoring one of the paradoxes at the heart of the prose poetry form. We argue that the coupling of the quotidian with the surreal in prose poetry creates and exploits a comic tension, focusing the reader on the impossibility of objectivity and adding a piquant playfulness to the serious issues such poems canvass. This paper will discuss prose poems by American prose poets Russell Edson and Charles Simic. It will also briefly analyse three Australian prose poems. These works indicate that surrealist prose poetry in Australia tends to be focused on a fusing of the laconic with the savage in its in its appeal to humour.' (Publication abstract)

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  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Axon : Creative Explorations Contemporary Boundary Crossings and Ways of Speaking Poetically vol. 7 no. 2 December 2017 12853914 2017 periodical issue

    'This issue of Axon is the second to relate directly to Poetry on the Move, the series of festivals run by the International Poetry Studies Institute based within the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra. The theme of the festival in 2017 was Boundary Crossings, and it was offered – in a slightly expanded version, as a focus for poets and academics to interpret in their own fashion within this issue. Some but not all of the contributions here were presented within the festival; equally, not all festival contributions were shaped for journal publication; there are boundary crossings but divisions and distinctions remain.

    'As festival keynote talk, Glyn Maxwell's moving letter to his mentor, the late Derek Walcott, leads us into a remarkable variety of scenarios in which boundaries are addressed. The boundary of death might be considered an absolute, yet Maxwell manages to speak, poetically (albeit in prose), in such a way that we believe in the communication.' (Paul Munden :  Introduction)

Last amended 7 Feb 2018 13:29:37 The Ordinary and the Unreal : American and Australian Prose Poetrysmall AustLit logo Axon : Creative Explorations