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Highly recommended for writers of condensed literature, especially those who say,“Forget about genre. All that matters is if a work is any good”: Peter Johnson’s essay The Prose Poem and the Problem of Genre

The author of nine books, including six collections of prose poetry, Johnson is also founding editor of The Prose Poem: An International Journal, and editor most recently of A Cast-Iron Aeroplane That Can Actually Fly: Commentaries From 80 American Poets on Their Prose Poetry (MadHat Press, 2019).

(See also “No Succinct Summary Will Do Them Justice”, Clare MacQueen’s review of Johnson’s anthology, in Issue 2 of MacQ.)

Highly recommended for writers of all genres: Brought to a Boil: An Essay on Experimental Poetry by John Olson, award-winning author of four novels and nine books of poems and prose poems. As distinguished poet, editor, and translator Clayton Eshleman says, “Olson is an original” who’s creating “...the most inventive prose poetry ever in the history of the prose poem.”

Ten Things I Look For When Selecting Submissions by Cara Cochran in The Review Review (April 2015)

25 Tanka Prose: Introduction: TP or not TP, That Is the Question by Bob Lucky, short-form poet and former managing editor of Contemporary Haibun Online, in Atlas Poetica: A Journal of Poetry of Place in Contemporary Tanka (July 2011)

Haiku: a poetry of absence or an absence of poetry? (subtitled “Minimalism in Contemporary English Language Haiku”), a paper presented by short-form poet and editor Lynne Rees at the PALA (Poetics and Linguistics Association) 2015 Conference at Canterbury University, Kent, United Kingdom (16 July 2015)

New Online Mag Showcases Wealth of Flash Fiction Forms, a review of Issue 3 (Spring 2015) of KYSO Flash by Michael Pritchett in The Review Review (July 2015). Note: The subtitle of Pritchett’s review erroneously refers to the Winter 2015 issue.

KYSO Flash—Issue Number Eight, a review by scholar and poet Bill Mohr at his blog Koan Kinship: Poetry, Art, and Geographical Politics (10 August 2017)



To get a good idea of what we’re looking to publish here in MacQ, please check out the range of forms, genres, styles, and themes in our first four issues, or in Issue 12 of KYSO Flash.

And/or you may want to peruse the list that follows, which links to numerous works that our publisher, Clare MacQueen, enjoys re-reading.



A Few of Clare’s Favorites:

This list is broken into two main sections: (I) works that were published online in venues other than KYSO Flash, and (II) works that were published in KYSO Flash online from 2014 through 2019.

The list under Section I appears in alphabetical order by author’s last name and refers to 42 works. Footnotes appear here and there throughout Section I.

Section II lists a hundred (!) of our publisher’s personal favorites; and, under subsections of forms and/or genres, those works appear alphabetically by author’s last name. Two of the subsections include footnotes.

With three exceptions, works listed in both Sections are no longer than a thousand words each, including the title.

(The exceptions: “Trees Please,” an essay of 1,728 words by Jack Cooper; “The Ballad of Zopitty Bop Bop” [A Meditation on Pain], a lyric essay of 1,307 words by John Olson; and “Why I Wash the Dead,” CNF of 2,145 words by Leslie What.)


I. Faves Published in Other Fine Venues

  
Doug Anderson I am always in love [prose poem] at Vox Populi (21 September 2018)
Nin Andrews Spontaneous Breasts [prose poem + poet’s commentary] in The Prose Poem: An International Journal 1
Francesca Bell I Long to Hold the Poetry Editor’s Penis in My Hand [poem] in Rattle (8 January 2019)
James Claffey The Third Time My Father Tried to Kill Me [flash fiction] in Mojave River Review (Winter 2014, pages 90-91)
Matthew Caretti Immolation2 [haibun3] in Contemporary Haibun Online (April 2014, Vol. 10, No. 1)
  

1. The Prose Poem was founded in 1992 by prose poet and editor Peter Johnson, who curated the journal through 2000. He is also editor of The Definitive Anthology of Prose Poetry: A Cast-Iron Aeroplane That Can Actually Fly, forthcoming soon from MadHat Press. Aeroplane includes 80 poems by 80 poets, with their commentaries. The roster is a Who’s Who of notable writers, such as Kim Addonizio, Nin Andrews, Joel Brouwer, Maxine Chernoff, Kim Chinquee, Stuart Dybek, Russell Edson, Carolyn Forché, Kathleen McGookey, John Olson, Charles Simic, and Gary Young, to mention only a handful.

2. In only 55 words, “Immolation” describes the ultimate: a loving-kindness for others that many folks cannot fathom.

3. Haibun Definitions at Contemporary Haibun Online

  
  
Michael Czyzniejewski Pregnant With Peanut Butter [flash fiction] in SmokeLong Quarterly (28 September 2009)
Jim Ray Daniels Soul Sacrifice [flash fiction] in Fiction Southeast (5 June 2013); also appears on Wigleaf’s Top 50 List 2014
Kate Daniels War Photograph4 [poem] at Poets.org
Steve Davenport Dear Money Shot [essay] in Serving House Journal (Issue 7, Spring 2013)
Robert L. Dean, Jr. Metal Man [poem after a photograph of the poet’s paternal grandfather] in The Ekphrastic Review (28 July 2018)
  

4. “War Photograph” refers to Napalm Girl, Nick Ut’s Pulitzer-Prize winning image.

  
  
Brian Doyle Joyous Voladoras [essay] in The American Scholar (12 June 2012)
Brian Doyle Leap [essay] at PBS Frontline (2002)
Carolyn Forché The Colonel [prose poem] at Poetry Foundation, where visitors can also listen to a reading of this work that Forché calls a “documentary poem”
David Kirby Two Poems: “The Wedding Photo” and “Delacroix’s Liberty on the Barricades” in The Account (Fall 2013)
Steve Kowit A Prayer [poem] in The Sun (Issue 423, March 2011)
  
  
Steve Kowit The Black Shoe [poem] in Serving House Journal (Issue 12, Spring 2015)
Alison Luterman Jesus Incognito [poem] in The Sun (January 1999)
Alison Luterman What About God [prose poem] in The Sun (Issue 414, June 2010)
Tara L. Masih The Red Door [micro-fiction] in “100 X 100 Fiction: One Hundred Winning Stories” in Marco Polo (2013)
Michael McClintock The Importance of Goldfish [haibun] in Haibun Today (September 2011, Vol. 5, No. 3)
  
  
Sharon Olds The Pope’s Penis [poem] in ducts (scroll down to second poem)
Peter Pereira Holy Shit [poem] at Poetry Foundation online
Richard Reoch A Buddhist Brawl [CNF], from “Buddhist Views on the Practice of Politics,” in Lion’s Roar (21 October 2016)
Ron Riekki Numbers (Apocrypha)5 [fib6] in The Fib Review (Issue 18, June 2014)
Liz Scheid In the Language of [essay] in The Collagist (Issue 24, July 2011)
  

5. This poem by Ron Riekki takes liberties with the “traditional” fib structure (see definition in item 6 below) by turning it upside-down. Plus, it contains multitudes and contradictions. Definitely worth reading.

6. Invented by Gregory K. Pincus in 2006, the fib is a six-line, syllabic poem based on the Fibonacci sequence, in which the first two numbers are 0 and 1, and each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc.). Fibs may also appear in stanzas of ascending and descending lines, and others may contain lines of 55 syllables or more.

  
  
David Sedaris Big Boy [memoir] in Esquire (29 January 2007)
David Shields Our Time Here Will Be Brief [essay] in Defunct (Volume II, Issue II, November 2011)
A.E. Stallings Four Fibs7 in The Cortland Review (Issue 32, June 2006)
Paul Vega Whiteout [memoir] in The Collagist (Issue 59, June 2014)
Nicole Walker Five Micro-Essays (“Microbags,” “Microchips,” “Microtrain,” “Microsoccer,” and “Microsmooth”) in The Account (Fall 2013)
  

7. A delightful quartet by A.E. Stallings which illustrates nicely that fibs (see definition in item 6 above) are serious poetry, with rhymes no less. And dialogue. And a fine infusion of wit.

  
  
Leslie What Milkweed [flash fiction] in Serving House Journal (Issue 2, Fall 2010)
Leslie What Why I Wash the Dead [CNF] in Serving House Journal (Issue 16, Spring 2017)
John Yau Questionnaire [prose poem] in Double Room (Issue 9, Winter 2013)
Barry Yourgrau Prelude [micro-fiction] in New Dead Families (Issue 2); also appears on Wigleaf’s Long List 2011
  
  

II. Faves Published in KYSO Flash

Note from Clare MacQueen: Over the course of six years and a dozen issues, we published ~1300 works in KYSO Flash online (or about 300 visual artworks and a thousand written works, including reprints). Given my fondness for most of those, you may not be surprised that I had a heckuva time limiting the following list of personal favorites to only a hundred titles!

Ekphrastic Works
  
Devon Balwit Place Me Like a Seal Over Your Heart [poem after a painting, Place Me Like a Seal Over Your Heart for Love Is as Strong as Death, by Lorette C. Luzajic] (Issue 11, Spring 2019)
Roy Beckemeyer Transit East [CNF + photograph] (Issue 11, Spring 2019)
Pamelyn Casto A Crucible of Sighs [prose poem after a drawing by Steve Davenport] (Issue 11, Spring 2019)
Jack Cooper Neruda’s Typewriter [prose poem + photograph] (Issue 4, Fall 2015)
Heidi Czerwiec 5 by (N°) 5 [CNF] (Issue 6, Fall 2016)
Robert L. Dean, Jr. The Last of the Firemen [poem after a painting by Skyler Lovelace, Flint Hills Night Burn] (Issue 11, Spring 2019)
Robert L. Dean, Jr. Windmill [poem after a painting by Steven Schroeder, Nothing Makes It Work] (Issue 11, Spring 2019)
Ellaraine Lockie The Animal Inside [poem after a photograph by Alexis Rhone Fancher] (Issue 10, Fall 2018)
Ellaraine Lockie The Mother Tree, Germany, 1860s [poem after a drawing by Steve Davenport] (Issue 11, Spring 2019)
Lorette C. Luzajic Fresh Strawberries [prose poem] (Issue 11, Spring 2019)
Gary S. Rosin Scene and Unseen [poem] (Issue 10, Fall 2018)
Charles D. Tarlton Et Encore Plus Heterotopia [tanka prose], from the poet’s e-collection Get Up and Dance (Issue 12, Summer 2019)
Charles D. Tarlton The Miletus Torso [tanka prose] (Issue 9, Spring 2018)
Harriot West Picking Sunflowers for Van Gogh [haibun story] (Issue 6, Fall 2016); reprinted in The Best Small Fictions 2017 anthology
  
Fiction, Flash
  
Jonathan Cardew The Breton Coast (Issue 5, Spring 2016)
Glenn G. Coats Vanished From Sight (Issue 10, Fall 2018)
Kelli Fitzpatrick To Still Her Completely (Issue 11, Spring 2019)
Soramimi Hanarejima The Prodigal Shadow (Issue 12, Summer 2019)
Elizabeth Kerlikowske Why We Are Here (Issue 11, Spring 2019)
Kathryn Kulpa Wendy and Brian on the Last Night of the World (Issue 2, Winter 2015)
Nancy Parshall The Neighbors Will Take the Chickens (Issue 5, Spring 2016)
Barry Peters Fingers (Issue 10, Fall 2018)
Daryl Scroggins Field Trips (Issue 12, Summer 2019)
Sheree Shatsky Magazine Rack (Issue 11, Spring 2019)
Janey Skinner Carnivores (Issue 4, Fall 2015)
Philip Wexler Paydirt (Issue 2, Winter 2015)
Leslie What Aging in Place (Issue 1, Fall 2014)
Jajah Wu Red Army Girls Go Battalion (Issue 1, Fall 2014)
  
Fiction, Hybrids: Haibun Stories and Tanka Tales1
  
Salil Chaturvedi Cross-Legged Cockroach [haibun story] (Issue 12, Summer 2019)
Claire Everett Crowkind [tanka tale] (Issue 5, Spring 2016)
Claire Everett Stealing [tanka tale] (Issue 6, Fall 2016)
Dan Gilmore Hackmuth’s Mannequin Dream [haibun story] (Issue 5, Spring 2016)
Harriot West See “Ekphrastic Works” above.
Rich Youmans After the Dream, the Dream Remains [haibun story] (Issue 11, Spring 2019); will be reprinted in The Best Small Fictions 2020 anthology
  

1. Haibun stories and tanka tales blend fact and fiction to various degrees. While they may use techniques of more conventional (aka “factional”) haibun and tanka prose, they also contain fictional elements, i.e., story-telling techniques such as dialogue, plot, and characterization. And they incorporate more embellishment than journalistic reportage, the latter of which is more characteristic of conventional haibun and tanka prose.

To learn more about haibun, see Haibun Definitions at Contemporary Haibun Online.

  
Fiction, Micro
  
Roberta Beary Swimming in Circles (Issue 10, Fall 2018); reprinted in Best Microfiction 2019 anthology
Laton Carter Single Dwelling Blues (Issue 11, Spring 2019)
Anniken Davenport Bless the Sniper (Issue 3, Spring 2015)
Linda Nemec Foster Conjuring Her Face (Issue 10, Fall 2018)
Julie Gard Torque (Issue 9, Spring 2018)
Dan Gilmore The Triangle Player (Issue 2, Winter 2015)
Elizabeth Kerlikowske Testament (Issue 12, Summer 2019)
Nancy Ludmerer Learning the Trade in Tenancingo (Issue 6, Fall 2016)
Kathleen McGookey You Can Find Joy in Doing Laundry (Issue 9, Spring 2018); reprinted in Best Microfiction 2019 anthology
Meg Pokrass Mr. Shaky (Issue 12, Summer 2019)
Alexis Rhone Fancher Thin-Skinned (Issue 9, Spring 2018)
  
Haiga, Taiga, & Photo-Poems
  
Roberta Beary barfly [haibun and vintage photo] (Issue 5, Spring 2016)
Roy Beckemeyer Legacy’s Sunset [photo-poem] (Issue 12, Summer 2019)
Janet Lynn Davis ordered [taiga] (Issue 6, Fall 2016)
Gary S. Rosin and
J. R. Lancaster
The Shade of a Dog [haiga] (Issue 6, Fall 2016)
Alexis Rotella Solstice [haiku and digital art] (Issue 9, Spring 2018)
  
Haiku and Haibun1
  
John Brantingham For the Deer (Issue 8, August 2017)
Salil Chaturvedi See “Fiction, Hybrids: Haibun Stories and Tanka Tales” above.
William Cullen, Jr. Driving Cross Country [haiku sequence2] (Issue 8, August 2017)
Kelsey Dean A Year (Issue 6, Fall 2016)
Dan Gilmore See “Fiction, Hybrids: Haibun Stories and Tanka Tales” above.
Alexis Rotella RIP Shaman Bobby Ray (Issue 8, August 2017)
Rich Youmans See “Fiction, Hybrids: Haibun Stories and Tanka Tales” above.
  

1. To learn more about haibun, see Haibun Definitions at Contemporary Haibun Online.

2. This sequence is a blend of traditional and contemporary, a timely commentary, a concise travelogue (tip of the hat to Basho), and a fine example of the skillful use of the 5-7-5 syllabic pattern. All of that—and only 48 words long.

  
Nonfiction: CNF, Essays, Memoir, etc.
  
Roy Beckemeyer See “Ekphrastic Works” above.
Jack Cooper Trees Please (Issue 11, Spring 2019)
Heidi Czerwiec Consider the Lobster Mushroom: Being a brief theory of the craft of creative nonfiction (Issue 12, Summer 2019)
Heidi Czerwiec See also “Ekphrastic Works” above.
Arya F. Jenkins Believe Only in the Weather (Issue 7, Spring 2017)
John Olson The Ballad of Zopitty Bop Bop, a meditation on pain (Issue 11, Spring 2019)
Pamela Johnson Parker What I Told the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Why They’ll Never Be Back (Issue 11, Spring 2019)
C. C. Russell Another Summer at the End of the World (Issue 2, Winter 2015)
  
Poetry
  
Arlene Ang Water (Issue 2, Winter 2015)
Ruth Awad Tracers (Issue 3, Spring 2015)
Devon Balwit See “Ekphrastic Works” above.
Roy Beckemeyer Blackberry [includes video of poet reading this poem] (Issue 12, Summer 2019)
Daniel Blokh A Trembling of Finches (Issue 8, August 2017)
LoVerne Brown A Sunday Morning After a Saturday Night (Issue 1, Fall 2014); includes poet’s commentary and editor’s note
Carrie Close Air (Issue 11, Spring 2019)
Jack Cooper No Room to Rage (Issue 7, Spring 2017)
Jack Cooper Witness (Issue 2, Winter 2015)
Robert L. Dean, Jr. See “Ekphrastic Works” above.
Rachel Guido deVries Imperfection (Issue 10, Fall 2018)
Kika Dorsey Lightning Veins (Issue 7, Spring 2017)
Bianca Glinskas Earth Hymn (Issue 12, Summer 2019)
Tim Hawkins Elegy Within Earshot of Howling (Issue 8, August 2017)
Judy Jordan Autumn in the Heart (Issue 3, Spring 2015)
Ellaraine Lockie See “Ekphrastic Works” above.
Alexis Rhone Fancher this small rain (Issue 4, Fall 2015)
Gary S. Rosin See “Ekphrastic Works” above.
Charlie Smith Fortune (Issue 2, Winter 2015)
  
Prose Poetry
  
Nin Andrews Confession 17 (Issue 8, August 2017)
Arlene Ang What Happens Next (Issue 2, Winter 2015)
Glen Armstrong Marooned (Issue 4, Fall 2015)
Roy Beckemeyer Surface Tension (Issue 12, Summer 2019)
Roy Beckemeyer Words for Snow (Issue 9, Spring 2018); reprinted in The Best Small Fictions 2019 anthology
Guy Biederman Edible Grace, title piece from the author’s e-collection (Issue 12, Summer 2019)
Guy Biederman Waiting for Results, from the e-collection Edible Grace (Issue 12, Summer 2019)
Tara Campbell The Trouble With Pronouns (Issue 8, August 2017)
Pamelyn Casto See “Ekphrastic Works” above.
Maxine Chernoff Subtraction (Issue 1, Fall 2014)
James Claffey Resolutions (Issue 12, Summer 2019)
Jack Cooper Reaches (Issue 2, Winter 2015)
Jess Dimond After the Hurricane (Issue 1, Fall 2014)
Kika Dorsey Silhouettes (Issue 5, Spring 2016)
Sean Thomas Dougherty The Black Flags of Our Bodies (Issue 1, Fall 2014)
Melanie Dunbar River Gift (Issue 9, Spring 2018)
Linda Nemec Foster The Girl Among the Hydrangeas, Paris (Issue 11, Spring 2019)
Jeff Friedman Grief (Issue 6, Fall 2016)
Dan Gilmore Gratitude (Issue 8, August 2017)
Sonja Johanson Platelets (Issue 9, Spring 2018)
Lorette C. Luzajic See “Ekphrastic Works” above.
Kathleen McGookey In Paris (Issue 12, Summer 2019)
Kathleen McGookey Taxonomy (Issue 8, August 2017)
Carolyn Miller Driving With Robert (Issue 1, Fall 2014)
Jim Trainer Memorare (Issue 6, Fall 2016)
  
Tanka Prose
  
Jenny Angyal But Now We Are Many (Issue 7, Spring 2017)
Claire Everett See “Fiction, Hybrids: Haibun Stories and Tanka Tales” above.
Bob Lucky Ethnographic Vignette #2 (Issue 1, Fall 2014)
Bob Lucky Finding my Way in Kichijoji (Issue 2, Winter 2015)
Charles D. Tarlton See “Ekphrastic Works” above.
  
Note from Clare:

For curious folks like me who might wonder whether my list of favorites from KYSO Flash includes titles from each of the 12 issues we published, yes indeed, it does. Here are the figures:
  
8 titles from Issue 1 (aka KF-1)
10 from KF-2
3 from KF-3
4 from KF-4
6 from KF-5
9 from KF-6
4 from KF-7
9 from KF-8
8 from KF-9
7 from KF-10
17 from KF-11
15 from KF-12

 
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