A Poet’s Prose

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…while poems often proceed by way of large imaginative leaps, I found that prose urged me to stay put longer and extrapolate more.

At Guernica, Christopher Kondrich and Tracy K. Smith talk about differences between poetry and prose, and writing grief and memory in Smith’s memoir Ordinary Light. Smith describes how she toggles between genres, constantly coaxing and questioning the speaker, the “I.”


Kirstin Allio is currently a Howard Foundation Fellow at Brown University. Her story collection, Clothed, Female Figure comes out with Dzanc in 2016. Her novel, Garner (Coffee House), was a finalist for the LA Times Book Award for First Fiction. She has received the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” Award, a PEN/O. Henry Prize, and has published many short stories, poems, and essays. More from this author →