Peter Richards is the author of two poetry collections: OUBLIETTE (Verse
Press/2001) and NUDE
SIREN (Verse Press/2003).
Question #3: Regarding differentiation between flash fiction
and prose poetry, Tony Leuzzi wrote, “If the writing contains
a compressed plot, with character and motive, then I am inclined
to think, ‘flash fiction.’ If the reading experience
forces me into unexpected directions, where a loss of control
is expected, then I am probably in the realm of a prose poem.” Peter
Johnson also noted, “ I agree with Todorov when he says
that all genres come from previous genres, but that doesn’t
mean Schlegel was wrong when he said, “ Every poem is a
genre in itself.” What criteria do you use to distinguish
between prose poems and flash fictions? Is Schlegel correct in
his assessment? If so, is there any point in designating genre?
FLASH FICTION? I remember having a bad reaction the first time
I heard the
term. I guess I’m suspicious of those efforts which seek
literature according to a school, a movement, or worst of all an
condition said to exist after Modernism. Whether these terms come
by the poets themselves or are the schemes of a critic looking
from the outside, I find most designations to be restrictive and
promotional in nature. Prose poem-- for me it works so well because
prescribes little else but the form.