Susan Maxwell

Response & Bio

Question 7: Rosmarie Waldrop says that, " Perhaps the greatest challenge of the prose poem (as opposed to "flash fiction") is to compensate for the absence of the margin. I try to place the margin, the emptiness inside the text. I cultivate cuts, discontinuity, leaps, shifts of reference, etc. 'Gap gardening,' I have called it, and my main tool for it is collage." What, if any, specific tools do you use when crafting a pp/ff?

Prose poems for the eleventh hour. If there were time to breathe it would breathe, to break a line into flinders of white and start again. Speech rivering skinlike around disaster, political if it has three or more buttons. Lone brain gallops the perimeter of its own half-cloaked cause and effect. It cannot stop talking. Or the chunk of prose is not speech but the constant block of desire behind the velocity and halt. Behind the fidget and look down, Beckett's Texts for Nothing. A gap blanketing itself in marks, the marks become the gap, egg in a cup. The poem furrows a way out of the white by running over it, white still white underneath ink. Speakers who do not know if they are entering or exiting paralysis. There is a small price at the door, whether it opens in or out.


Susan Maxwell is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has been visiting the Creative PhD program in Denver for the past year. She has published work in VOLT, Verse, Sycamore Review, Fence, River City Magazine, Phoebe and other lively journals. She is the winner of the River City Poetry Contest and the Phoebe Poetry Contest and has recently taken up residence in the Bay Area once again.

site map