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Response & Bio Naomi Shihab Nye

Question #16) Jaime Rogers – a visual artist and writer - on instinct, viscera, and the viewer/reader: “Prose poetry allows for a certain freedom of imagery, which at the same time, is contained within frame so that it may be “seen” almost all at once. A sensation may be translated instinctively and may be understood in a visceral sense.”

I like this Jaime Rogers quote very much, as it makes me think of the delicious simultaneity of awareness that seems to encircle us as we read or write prose poems, or paragraphs, or whatever we choose to call them. A rounded scenery, accepting of narrative AND wild leaping, which invites both a forward and backward motion of the eye, a compact pocket-sized gift of images and impressions, an immediacy, no prefacing, no extras, and a particular comfort in this genre which satisfies the whole wide poetry-prose palate, clarifying the senses, the interior eye, the muddled mind.


Naomi Shihab Nye's most recent anthology is Is This Forever, Or What? Poems & Paintings from Texas (Greenwillow, 2004). She lives in San Antonio and, along with many other Texans, continues to believe in the separation of church and state. Her poetry collection, You and Yours, is forthcoming from BOA Editions in September 2005.