University of Iowa

The Fantastic Mongrel: Getting Started on Prose Poetry

Weekend July 13 to July 14 2019

Prose poetry is far more than just verse without line breaks. Borrowing from a variety of forms and genres, including questionnaires, conver­sations, dream narratives, and art installations like those of Joseph Cornell, these little blocks, patches, scraps, chunks, fragments—whatever you want to call them—are tiny boxes that can contain big things. Through brief in-class readings by such authors as Ocean Vuong, Aloysius Bertrand, Charles Baudelaire, Sabrina Orah Mark, Carol Guess, and many more, students will see how the prose poem represents an exciting inter­section among nonfiction, fiction, drama and poetry. After discussing how these blocks are structured—and talking about where to read and submit these popular genre-bending forms—students will have the chance to do in-class writing exercises, and will walk out with rough drafts of a few prose poems that they can continue to hone, as well as with a new sense of how to bring innovation to writing of all lengths and genres.


In this workshop we will generate new writing through guided exercises and prompts.

Hybrid Forms