Leeds Trinity University Professor co-edits new book


A Professor of Creative Writing at Leeds Trinity University has co-edited a major new book dedicated to prose poetry.

Male lecturer stands in front of students teaching.

Professor Oz Hardwick, Programme Lead for MA Creative Writing, co-edited Prose Poetry in Theory and Practice with fellow writer and lecturer at the Open University, Dr Anne Caldwell. It features 14 different chapters written by practitioners and academics, exploring the features of prose poetry and how they guide both writer and reader.

Prose poetry is written in prose form, without the line breaks associated with poetry, but makes use of poetic devices such as repetition, rhyme and metaphor.

The book combines insights on the theory and practice of prose poetry, offers a contribution to the development of the form, and snapshots of contemporary debates around prose poetry.

Professor Hardwick said: “Prose poetry has been experiencing a surge in popularity in the past couple of years, particularly in the UK, where it’s previously been rather marginalised. The book is very much part of this, with contributions from practitioners and academics from around the world.

“In simple terms, a prose poem is a poem with every feature you’d expect except line breaks. If you had very wide pages, it would be a one-line poem. The immediate effect of this is that a prose poem looks like a paragraph of prose but, when you read it, it surprises you with its distillation of language and avoidance of the expectations of prose. Prose poems like to bend the rules.

“It is one of my favourite forms of writing and I was delighted to be able to work on this book with Dr Caldwell and create a conversation with other poet-academics on the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of prose poetry, which will also contribute to my work in the future.”

Dr Anne Caldwell, Associate Lecturer at the Open University, said: “It has been a real privilege to edit such a range of fascinating essays on the subject of prose poetry from an international group of writers.”

Professor Hardwick and Dr Caldwell have worked together since 2018, when they co-edited the anthology The Valley Press Anthology of Prose Poetry, which was launched at the first UK prose poetry symposium at Leeds Trinity University in 2019.

Prose Poetry in Theory and Practice can now be ordered online by visiting publishers Routledge’s website.