Grasping the Moment
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Sometimes there are moments or concepts so ephemeral that to put them into a defined structure or narrative, with contour lines, is to kill them. The best way to handle these ideas is to talk around them, to hold them loosely with breaths instead of sounds, or not speak them at all.
In special cases like these, I have found prose poetry more effective than a novel, novella, short story, or even flash fiction. Poetry has line breaks, meter, rhythm, a structure. Prose poetry, by contrast, is even more free form and experimental. However, it still includes the term Poetry because it deals with a mood, aesthetic, moment, or vibe.
While even flash fiction contains a narrative arc, a change from the beginning to the end, prose poetry is a vignette describing a moment. There might be a change, but it is often subtler than that, and the change might have to do merely with a new understanding, and even that might belong solely to the reader.
For the next few months, this newsletter will lean closer to prose poetry than flash fiction. I am also thrilled to inform you that this newsletter has just passed 1,000 subscribers! To celebrate this milestone, I cordially invite you to join me on this adventure of experimentation. Write your own prose poem and put it in the comments section of this newsletter. If I find one particularly inspiring or moving, I will include it in a future newsletter, with credit and much praise given to its author. To learn more about the art of prose poetry, visit Writers.com: What is a Prose Poem? Understanding Prose Poetry.
I am very excited to announce that after four years of work, on May 26th 2022, I am graduating with my Master’s in Creative Writing & Literature from Harvard Extension School. The program was designed as distance learning before that concept became popular with the pandemic. In fact, the Extension School had the honor of helping Harvard University as a whole transition to remote education.
I have been thrilled with the education I received there for many reasons, one being that my teachers were themselves writing professionals with careers in my field of interest. Lessons, critiques, and advice from people who have real-world experience with making stories work has been invaluable.
A second gift from this program was my peers, who are all people with responsibilities to families and communities, working jobs to support themselves, and otherwise managing adult lives. These students are all so passionate about storytelling and the writing craft that they threw everything they had into their education even in the midst of very full lives. They helped inspire this newsletter and continue to edit its contents. I am tremendously blessed to know them.
These Harvard Alumni include but are certainly not limited to:
Andrea – who runs a beautiful and informative bookstagram.
If you are a writer looking to expand your ability, but can’t drop everything for graduate school, I highly recommend this program. I will include graduation pictures in my next monthly update so you can celebrate with us, the class of 2022.
If you would like to read any of the 16 free short stories I have published in the past, check out my Archive section. Short story are always published on the first Saturday of the month.
See you soon!
~S. C. Durbois
See you next month!