The Surreal Prose Poem: World-building on the Playground of the Absurd


  • Kristin Bock
October 2nd 1pm-4pm
October 16th 1pm-4pm

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The Surreal Prose Poem: World-building on the Playground of the Absurd

A murder of crows morphs into soaring black notes, a lily transforms into a collapsing mineshaft, a miniature train rushes from a fireplace. These are just some of the images associated with Surrealism, a revolutionary movement sparked in Paris around 1924 that asserted the unconscious and dreams over the familiar and every day. Let’s leave linear thought behind and mine our psyche for the strange beauty of the unexpected and uncanny.

In this generative workshop, we’ll explore the prose poem form and its inclination toward surrealistic dream logic. In the first 3-hour session, we’ll discuss the reading packet (available to registered students before class) and respond to writing prompts that include surrealist art, creative visualization, and even Mad Libs! Yes, this is an invitation to have fun and make startling discoveries on the Playground of the Absurd! In the second session we will workshop our poems.

Readings from James Tate, Charles Simic, Russell Edson, Matthea Harvey, Zachery Schomburg, Shivani Mehta, Aase Berg, André Breton, and Mathias Svalina, among others.

About Kristin Bock

Kristin Bock’s second poetry collection, Glass Bikini, was published by Tupelo Press in December 2021. Her book, CLOISTERS, won Tupelo Press’s First Book Award and an Eric Hoffer da Vinci Eye Award. She has published widely in journals, including The Black Warrior Review, Columbia, Crazyhorse, FENCE, Iterant, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, and VERSE. A Massachusetts Cultural Council fellow, she holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she teaches. Visit her at and follow her on Instagram @kbock777.

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The Surreal Prose Poem: World-building on the Playground of the Absurd

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