Fine Arts Work Center In Provincetown

2024 Summer Workshops

Peter Shippy The Prose Poem June 19 to June 24, 2016 Tuition: $600 Workshop: 1-4PM Discipline: Poetry OPEN TO ALL On-site Housing Available

“Which one of us, in his moments of ambition, has not dreamed of a miracle of poetic prose, musical without rhythm and without rhyme, supple enough and rugged enough to adapt itself to the lyrical impulses of the soul, the undulations of reverie, the jibes of conscience?” (Charles Baudelaire)

The modern prose poem began about 170 years ago in Belgium and France and spread around the world… like a sweet virus.

What is its charm?

David Young wrote, “The appeal of the prose poem… is in the attraction of a little world made out of everyday materials, unpredictable in its contours and wonderfully satisfying in its paradoxical way of combining suggestiveness and completeness.”

Charles Simic said, “Writing a prose poem is a bit like trying to catch a fly in a dark room.”

In this workshop we will discuss many of the masters of the prose poem, write new poems, and discuss the participants’ work with an eye (and an ear) toward generating poetry over the next year.

Please bring 10 copies of one prose poem to our first class.


PETER JAY SHIPPY is the author of four books, most recently, A Spell of Songs (Saturnalia Books, 2013). Recipient of a Gertrude Stein Award, Iowa Poetry Prize, and Diagram Prize for the Essay, he has received fellowships in drama and poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and an NEA Fellowship in poetry. In 2012 and 2013, his poetry was included in The Best American Poetry. He teaches at Emerson College.