An essential anthology that puts contemporary geniuses Eileen Myles and Margaret Atwood in conversation with literary classics Charles Baudelaire and Oscar Wilde about the liberating and unique combination of poetry and prose
A Penguin Classic
The prose poem has proven one of the most innovative and versatile poetic forms of recent years. In the century-and-a-half since Charles Baudelaire, Emma Lazarus, Oscar Wilde and Ivan Turgenev spread the notion of a new kind of poetry, this “genre with an oxymoron for a name” has attracted many of our most beloved writers. Yet, even now, this peculiarly rich and expansive form is still misunderstood and overlooked. Here, Jeremy Noel-Tod reconstructs the history of the prose poem for us by selecting the essential pieces of writing, covering a greater chronological sweep and international range than any previous anthology of its kind. Noel-Tod even calls it “an alternative history of modern poetry.” In The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem, Patricia Lockwood and Claudia Rankine rub shoulders with Margaret Atwood and Adrienne Rich; Allen Ginsberg and Gertrude Stein appear with Lu Xun and Jorge Luis; Czeslaw Milosz sits just pages from Eileen Myles.