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The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice Paperback – April 7, 2010


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The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice + The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips from Editors, Teachers, and Writers in the Field + The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction: Advice and Essential Exercises from Respected Writers, Editors, and Teachers
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Rose Metal Press; First edition (April 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978984889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978984885
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"I'm not sure it matters all that much whether some poems are lined or not," notes the poet James Harris in this anthology and exploration of prose poetry. Although Harris may be right, most of the 30 or so poets writing here spend a considerable amount of space trying to define or defend the prose poem. Contributor Beckian Fritz Goldberg quotes a student who calls prose poetry "the ugliest girl at the party who is having the best time." Indeed, many of these unusually accessible poems have elements of humor and pop culture that subvert the popular notion of poetry as rhymed stanzas on the topics of nature or death. But for the casual reader, few of the essays pop, and some of the poems read as too-obvious explorations of the genre, but the largest fault is of omission. By choosing to focus on contemporary poets alone, the editors have eschewed anyone whose work helped to create this genre. When over half of the poets reference the influence of Russell Edson, it's disappointing that Edson himself is absent.
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Review

If ever you find the prose poem wandering your neighborhood with its strange and beautiful hands stuffed sadly in its pockets, spellbound and feral, searching its body for the lines that keep it, go to it and give the fantastic mongrel The Field Guide so it can find its way back to itself for here is a guide that honors its anatomy with the same bewilder and brilliance that designed its first breath. --Sabrina Orah Mark<br /><br />It looks as if the prose poem ungirdles the latent surrealist, fabulist, Baudelairean flaneur and Joycean punster in many a writer of mainstream American verse. Here is a collection of testimonies to a fertile and potent modern form that is still going strong in its third century. Prose plus poetry? As Rimbaud might say - in fact, did say once in a prose poem Drole de menage! --Mark Jarman<br /><br />Make room on the short shelf of essential books about the prose poem for this terrific Field Guide. Its innovative format, part anthology, part critical investigation, makes it an ideal starting point for newcomers, while its many insights will surely inspire even long-term readers and writers of this much-misunderstood form. Casual, diverse, and entertaining, it might just launch a new generation of American prose poets. --Campbell McGrath

It looks as if the prose poem ungirdles the latent surrealist, fabulist, Baudelairean flaneur and Joycean punster in many a writer of mainstream American verse. Here is a collection of testimonies to a fertile and potent modern form that is still going strong in its third century. Prose plus poetry? As Rimbaud might say - in fact, did say once in a prose poem Drôle de ménage! --Mark Jarman

If ever you find the prose poem wandering your neighborhood with its strange and beautiful hands stuffed sadly in its pockets, spellbound and feral, searching its body for the lines that keep it, go to it and give the fantastic mongrel The Field Guide so it can find its way back to itself for here is a guide that honors its anatomy with the same bewilder and brilliance that designed its first breath. --Sabrina Orah Mark

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Keith Montesano on June 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
The prose poem has always been a form, admittedly, that I've never known much about. My reading of the prose poem has usually led to the question that I imagine I'm not the only one asking: "Isn't there a way the line could actually be utilized here?"

The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry doesn't try to explicitly answer that question. Instead, the essays within are used as catalysts to get into the minds of how actual poets write and discuss their prose poems. I don't want to overuse the phrase "personal essay" here, and though there are at least a few essays that are more scholarly, many of them are entertaining and insightful enough not only to give us a sense of who the poet is, but also how they go about creating their art.

Though this seems obvious, we've all read essays about poetry that become too long, stuffy, circuitous, confusing, etc. In this anthology, however, most of the essays are around 3-7 pages long, and each includes 2 poems by each poet. So not only is the variation great--both the included poems and writing style from each poet--but after reading the entire anthology, it becomes an easier task for a professor who wants to teach from it; out of 34 essays, there are many to pick and choose from. That said, at under 200 pages, this would also work as a great primary text for a full semester.

Insightful, engaging, varied, highly accessible, and handsomely designed, the editors and the press have done a great job here through and through. Whether it's for personal enjoyment, or you're looking to find an anthology on the prose poem for a future course you're teaching, this is where you want to start.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mary Harwell Sayler on January 18, 2011
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Having just reviewed two other books of prose poetry (Great American Prose Poems and Models of the Universe) and seeing the previous reviews here (with which I agree), I almost didn't bother to comment, except that I wanted to say I highly recommend this book.

As mentioned in the above reviews, this somewhat slender volume offers ample material for an in-depth college course on the appreciation and practice of prose poetry. Since I have no such campus courses near me, however, I thought that other potential readers might encounter this problem too. So I wanted to let you all know that, if you're also an isolated poet, poetry lover, or poetry student who must study informally on your own or at home, you will most likely find this book to be helpful with enticing examples and diverse explications of the genre.

Regardless of your personal tastes in poetry, this delicious assortment of prose poems and essays will guide you into a rich appreciation and (quite possibly) ongoing appetite for prose poetry. What most surprises me, though, is that I'm now finding prose poems suddenly coming to me, unbidden and waiting to be written in a genre I had never before taken seriously but now love.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S M Berry on December 21, 2010
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This is such an encouraging, enlightening little gem of a book. I love the different takes that each poet has on the form, and the ways in which they illustrate their points with their own poetry and the prose poems of other writers. I enjoyed every essay in this collection and felt inspired in my own efforts with the prose poem after reading it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tania Hershman on January 27, 2011
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I didn't know much about prose poetry when I bought this book and it has lived up to all my expectations, and exceeded them! A highly entertaining and enlightening collection of essays about poets' personal approaches to the prose poem, why they love it, what it is for them, as well as a showcase for a myriad different prose poems. It has showed me what a prose poem can be and given me many ideas as to how it might different from either prose or poetry. I bought one of the contributors' collections, and it is absolutely stunning. I highly recommend this book!
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