Issue 02 / 1994


2 / Poets Writing Prose

The spiritual and literal truth

Contrary to popular belief, poetry is much closer to nonfiction than one might imagine. On the most basic level poems are, in essence, nonfiction—spiritual and literal truth—presented in free-form or verse. In addition, the skills and objectives of the best poets are the skills and objectives most vital in the writing of “fact” pieces.

Poets seem as consistently in control, not only of the structure of essays, but also in scope and range of vision, and the essays collected in Creative Nonfiction #2: “Poets Writing Prose” illustrate just that. Featuring work by Margaret Gibson, Adrienne Rich, Charles Simic, Christopher Buckley, and others.

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