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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 ‘Words about Words Make Sure Self’ : Ania Walwicz and a Politics of Prose Poetry
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'This paper examines how Ania Walwicz uses the protean nature of the prose poem as a medium through which to subvert traditional notions of identity, especially in terms of anxieties about gender and sexuality. According to Dominique Hecq (2009), the prose poem is able to negotiate ‘between notions of a public language of prose and a marginal language of poetry, thereby … enacting particularly complex modes of engagement between subjectivity and the world’. This paper argues that it is the slippery and transformative nature of the prose poem that lends itself so neatly to a politics of subversion. As a ‘borderline genre’ (Hecq 2009), the prose poem occupies an ambiguous space – it is self-conscious and critical yet immersive and seductive; a medium that offers a deceptive simplicity, or a shocking confrontation with otherness. Oftentimes, the prose poem is capable of both in the same instance. By exploring the prose poetry of Walwicz, this paper contends that rather than being understood as a ‘disturbing and elusive’ literary oddity (Delville 1998), the prose poem can be seen to contest formal traditions of both narrative and identity.'  (Publication abstract)

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  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon TEXT Special Issue Website Series Prose Poetry no. 46 October Monica Carroll (editor), Shane Strange (editor), Jen Webb (editor), 2017 12944013 2017 periodical issue

    'Just a couple of decades ago, prose poetry occupied a very minor corner of the poetry spectrum, although many major poets have published works in that form. As early as the mid-1970s, anthologies of prose poems were emerging in the USA, but they were preceded by work produced in Europe: the nineteenth-century Romantic Fragment (which was quickly adopted by British Romantics), and then the early twentieth-century experiments, and particularly the poetic avant garde in France. Now it is becoming (almost) a staple; across Australia and internationally, major poets are adding the prose poem form to their oeuvre, and though few dedicated publications yet exist, prose poems are salting the competitions, collections, anthologies and literary journals. International poets too are extending into the prose poem, exploring its affordances.' (Monica Carroll, Shane Strange and Jen Webb: Introduction)

Last amended 22 Feb 2018 12:02:47 ‘Words about Words Make Sure Self’ : Ania Walwicz and a Politics of Prose Poetrysmall AustLit logo TEXT Special Issue Website Series
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