Prose poetry is Russell Edson. Flash fiction is Russell Crowe.
No idea, but people love putting things into boxes.Me, I prefer to call them "words", because it seems to cover every eventuality.
What's the difference between poetry and fiction?
More often than not, and yes, I realize what I'm about to say is a generalization, but... for me, poetry is foremost about sound and image, while fiction is fundamentally about story or narrative arc. Of course, narrative poetry can be compelling, and fiction lacking attention to sound and image tends to fall flat. Which brings us back to Russell Crowe, no?
nothing but the labels people put on things because they think they have too. so many times i see "established" poets who write flash fiction call it prose poetry, because in their world flash fiction is something silly and experimental and they would lose whatever literary clout they think they've earned in the poetry community if they called their collection "flash fiction."i
anne carson, christopher kennedy, howie good. three very good examples. they just write great words, who cares what people call it, and any attempt to label it is arbitrary except folks who want to market it. im gonna send howie and chris links ot this post and please ask them to weigh in.
prose poetry doesn't have the long, hoary history that poetry has, a history that imposes formal requirements, rigid expectations, etc. i like writing it because it looks like prose -- sentence, paragraph -- but behaves like poetry. by which i mean because the nature of prose poetry is indeterminate, or at least mixed, it can be whatever the writer can make it. it invites invention, risk-taking, surprise.
BG: so you consider your stuff prose poetry and not flash fiction? HG: yeah, i do. . . but i call it whatever an editor wants me to call it. . . the name only matters to the extent that it influences reader reaction, or so i think .
I started out trying to write short stories. No good. Then I wrote poems. Okay, but not great. For the last twenty years or so I've tried to combine what I love about fiction with what I love about poetry. Sometimes I'd say it's flash fiction, sometimes prose poetry. It's intuitive, which is another way of saying I don't know how to articulate the difference.
thanks chris and howie for stopping in and saying a little something something.
How much the bleeding.