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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Formless Form, or the Return of Form? Prose Poetry in Practice and Theory
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'Any study of prose poetry almost inevitably invokes the problem of genre. That is, generic uncertainty will always be of interest in a form that crosses a supposed boundary between prose and poetry and brings into play attempts at sharp demarcations and taxonomies with the aim of marking out territories of the poetic and the prosaic (and all stops between). In this paper, I would like to suggest that discussions of form in relation to prose poetry are symptomatic of larger struggles around form that have taken place at the level of critical practice. To do this, I suggest rather than a return of the prose poem form taken from a retro-fitting of poetic literary history, we might see the prose poem as a convergence with very short forms of prose fiction, and to look at the varying ways that these forms have been specified in their traditions. Secondly, I will look at the rise of ‘new formalism’ as a way of contextualising the critical background around which these arguments might be seen.' (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 12:18:18 Formless Form, or the Return of Form? Prose Poetry in Practice and Theorysmall AustLit logo TEXT Special Issue Website Series