The Prose Poem (LIT4280.01) (day/time updated as of 10/9/2023)

Michael Dumanis

Is a poem still a poem when it replaces line and stanza with sentence and paragraph? If so, what components are essential to a poem? What is the distinction between a prose poem and a flash fiction? In this course, we will read a wide range of paragraphs and book-length collections of paragraphs as we familiarize ourselves with the history and range of the prose poem. We will discuss the lyric sentence, the compressed narrative, and the weight of each word in unlineated poetry, seeking to better understand what we might mean by genre and by trespassing its boundaries. Writers we are likely to consider, among others, include Baudelaire, Don Mee Choi, Russell Edson, Sabrina Orah Mark, Khadijah Queen, Claudia Rankine, Mary Ruefle, Zachary Schomburg, Gertrude Stein, Mark Strand, and James Tate. Students will complete two critical writing assignments—a close reading of a prose poem and a critical reflection on the prose poem as a form—and write multiple prose poems of their own.

Learning Outcomes:
Students will develop an extensive familiarity with the prose poem form, differentiate prose poetry from flash fiction, consider questions of hybridity, and hone their creative and critical writing skills

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor: by Friday, November 24, please submit a writing sample (of four poems or 2-3 flash fictions or a brief critical essay), and a brief statement of interest using this form. Students will be notified of acceptance by email on Wednesday, November 29.
Corequisites: Students who are enrolled in this course are required to attend Literature Evenings and Poetry at Bennington events (most Wednesdays, 7pm)
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 2
M 10:00AM - 11:50AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Day/Time Changes , Fully In-Person , Literature , Two Credit , Updates
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