A trend in contemporary poetry collections is the inclusion of prose writing. In general, prose is a writing style that does not follow a structure of rhyme or meter. It uses words to compose phrases that are arranged into sentences and paragraphs and is used to communicate concepts, ideas, and stories to a reader. However, prose poetry is a type of writing that combines the elements of poetry, such as meter, repetition, alliteration, language and literary devices with elements of prose.
To introduce students to prose poetry, I recommend using the work of Lang Leav, a poet and novelist whose poetry collections feature beautiful examples of prose poetry. She has such a way with words and presents her ideas through her writing in unique and gripping ways. Some titles you may wish to explore with students include:
Students can explore these titles as a class, in small groups, and/or independently, and notice and name the moves they notice, and the impact they may have on the reader. They can then experiment with writing their own prose poetry, revising a piece they are currently writing to include a move inspired by something they saw today, or reflect on the impact of this blending of forms.
Taylor Floris is an aspiring English and Business teacher, currently completing her Bachelor of Education degree from the University of New Brunswick. In her spare time, she can be found cozied up, with a coffee in-hand, indulged into the life of fiction and poetry.