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Response & Bio Richard Garcia
Question #1) In issue #3 of Double Room, Ron Silliman suggests that it is erroneous to assume “that a signature feature of the prose poem is its brevity.” He calls this misguided assumption, Jacob’s fallacy, and he further argues that considering the differences between the prose poem and the flash fiction is “like trying to identify the border between, say, Korean & Portuguese, similar insofar as each is a language.” Do you agree with Silliman’s assessment? In contrast, Ava Chin suggests that she wrote flash fiction during a period when she was extremely overworked: “their jarring method and brevity, their element of surprise, lent themselves well to my shortened yet heightened attention span.” Chin seems to suggest that the brevity aided and enabled a new kind of invention for her. Do you think that prose poetry and flash fiction do have some kind of compression or brevity as a related characteristic? When you write in this form, the pp/ff, do you place any space or length restrictions on yourself?

I do not think prose poems are limited in length, but as a writer or a reader I prefer brevity. It is a matter of the intensity of the prose poem -- to me they are dense, rich and highly musical, more sipping whiskey than beer. That is why I prefer them in small doses.


Richard Garcia is the author of Rancho Notorious (BOA Editions). His poems have recently appeared in the web publications Perihelion, The Blue Moon Review, The Cortland Review, and in the print journals Sentence and Pool. His web site is