Prose Poetry: Finding the Magic. When I think of prose poetry, Howie Good comes to mind right away. Howie is a frequent contributor to Unbroken. RLB : Howie, thanks so much for taking time to do an interview with us. We are thrilled to have you! HG : I started writing prose poetry before I knew what I was writing was prose poetry.
I wrote self-contained paragraphs that isolated a moment or a feeling or a fact. It was a form that I found congenial for some reason. All I was hoping to do was learn how to put one word after another to create a kind of significant noise. Could you share your process with us for writing a prose poem? Do you start with an idea, a feeling, an emotion, a title? Maybe a prompt of some sort?
What sort of things? Words, phrases, facts. The sources include everything from misheard comments to my reading to dreams. I write every day, whether I have a subject in mind at the start or not.
To paraphrase Woody Allen, 99 percent of writing is showing up. RLB: Magpie-ism—I love it! HG: I usually write first drafts as prose poems. The more surreal the material I dig up, the more likely I am to continue writing it as a prose poem.
How can a piece be simultaneously prose and poetry? It defies logic. A prose poem is sustained by the inherent tension between its prose and poetry aspects.
What appears at first to be an ordinary piece of prose that follows the established rules of grammar and usage turns out on further acquaintance to be an act of rebellion against established rules. HG: Anyone who wants to give prose poetry a shot should just go ahead and do it. It would probably help the process to read outstanding examples of prose poetry. RLB: All good choices. Edson and Simic are two of my favorites. What will we be seeing from you in the near future? RLB: Cool, those sound exciting.
Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your magic with us. We wish you much continued success in your projects. Author Interviews Howie Good.
Check back next Friday when Kelly DuMar shares her thoughts with us on the prose poem.