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Prose PoetryAn Introduction$
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Paul Hetherington and Cassandra Atherton

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691180656

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691180656.001.0001

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Prose Poetry and the Very Short Form

Prose Poetry and the Very Short Form

(p.224) Chapter 10 Prose Poetry and the Very Short Form
Prose Poetry

Paul Hetherington

Cassandra Atherton

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the relationship between prose poetry and very short literary forms, which are proliferating online and in print. While novels, short stories, lineated lyric poems, and dramatic works have been at the center of literary practice for centuries, contemporary writers are reinvigorating the understanding of genre and form — and some of their writing does not sit comfortably within conventional literary classifications. To an extent, this is true of prose poetry in general, and it is certainly true of hybrid works that contain, reframe, or transform prose poetry. This is not to suggest that all hybrid prose-poetical works are products of the late twentieth or early twenty-first century. There are many early examples of hybrid works that make use of poetic prose. However, many contemporary hybrid works that make use of very short prose forms are especially notable for their emphasis on an irredeemable sense of fracture, and such works are increasingly being accepted as central to the literary world. This recent growth in the popularity and esteem of very short literary forms provides a new and positive context for understanding prose poetry and its scholarship.

Keywords:   prose poetry, short literary form, hybrid prose-poetry, poetic prose, short prose forms

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