5 Books of Prose Poetry You Should Read

by a contributor

from Daniel Romo, author of Bulletin:

1. You Can Tell the Horse Anything by Mary Koncel

Works are often labeled as prose poems when they shouldn’t be. They lack elements that comprise a true prose poem. In You Can Tell the Horse Anything, Koncel uses sentence variety, quirkiness, figurative language, and other poetic techniques to reveal everything a prose poem SHOULD be. The poems are layered, entertaining, and contain bursts of poignancy. Quite simply, this book is the perfect prose poem primer.

2. Angle of Yaw by Ben Lerner

When cerebral meets supposition, the result is sexy. Ben Lerner’s sexy collection of prose poems is a lesson in ascertaining. The reader is presented with text that could be truth or a bunch of tightly-woven lies. Either way, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the reader believes in Ben Lerner’s worlds, and his words. Sly, familiar, and (c)overt, these poems shine like gold, fool’s or otherwise.

3. The Babies by Sabrina Orah Mark

Oh, Sabrina Orah Mark: You creator of mystic settings bathed in even more mysticism, lathered in language that sings so lovely, swaddled in surrealism with context for necessary grounding, dressed in darkness that’s not terrifying scary but terrific scary, I just want to let you know… I love your poems. A lot.

4. Little Known Sports by Vern Rutsala

The cover of the book depicts an old-school muscleman lifting a barbell (not drawn to scale) over his head. The muscleman is stout with slicked-back hair and a neatly groomed mustache. He wears a body suit that flatters his gym-trained physique. The white boots and dark wristbands highlight this intriguing specimen. The man appears to be strong and quite charming. With their old-school tone, slick wit, neatly-groomed nature, and gym-trained bodies, the poems in Little Known Sports are quite intriguing, strong, and charming.

5. The Trees The Trees by Heather Christle

there are big moments  in the little delights  there are little delights  in the big moments  the spaces   between   words  allow the reader to    interpret as he/she sees fit    initially it’s difficult   to have so much   freedom  as a reader       but the trees       the trees           has these words  these words that cannot      be     hidden