Poetry and Prose

On Saturday I’ll be taking a workshop from published poet Roger Aplon— The Prose Poem: Investigation and Discovery. I’ve met Roger once, briefly, at another event sponsored by San Diego Writers, Ink. He told me I wrote beautifully and I was too stunned to tell him I thought the same of his work. Not only does he write evocative poetry, he has a wonderful cadence and rhythm to his voice that lends itself so well to his poetry. His poetry reading voice is not the sing-song stacatto beat of a slam poet, but more like a melody of words that is performance, but natural as well.

Roger describes the workshop:

The prose poem is the child of associative & colorful prose. A bastard at best. Taking the economy of poetry & marrying it with the random experience of “story.” It can define a momentary, captivating glimpse at some “thing”: a chance encounter, a dream &/or any fragment that allows the reader to impose him or herself in or on that environment. The prose poem form allows greater latitude than strict “poetic” form where the line breaks must be of the most exquisite design. The prose poem is less formal, more given to risk & open-ended. A classic example of a renegade form. For this day we’ll explore some prose poems & write some of our own, using as material our discussions, prompts, dreams & improvisation.

He says “This is an experiment as all prose poems are experiments. I’m looking forward to the investigation.”

And so am I… and I look forward to the opportunity to play with words. And poetry, although not my strong suit, appeals to my desire to convey deep meaning with few words. As my writing coach says, I’m “more Joan Didion than Janet Fitch.” I’d like to be a little of both, the minimalist approach of Didion blended with Fitch’s mellifluous language.

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