Dig the new prose breed: Richard Froude’s Fabric.
As prickly as I am about the way New Prose writers have set up their own little Poetryland-like camps, you cannot deny the talents of some of these new people. Evan Lavender-Smith’s From Old Notebooks and all of Jenny Boully’s books stand out to me as fully realized hybrids, the best of the poetics of prose poetry with the I-centric essay. I want the I foregrounded, you see. I sometimes say that solipsism is all we have. I’m not sure what that means really, but I like to pause dramatically after saying that, then move onto another topic. Most of the time it works.
“Talking about yourself all the time is not insincere,” Kerouac writes.
Which brings me to Richard Froude’s Fabric, a new book from Horse Less Press. I just got a copy two days ago and read it in two sittings: the first in the downstairs handicapped bathroom at my college’s student center, and the second while wrangling my youngest daughter. In both sessions, it seemed like time well spent, with essayistic entries–prose poems, poetic prose, linked and lovely and learned–dancing from page to page. It’s more lean and perhaps less ambitious than other poetic prose meditations, and yet it is that small scale, that personal cabaret performance, that makes this a cut above for me.
“Every book is an account of its own failure,” Froude writes.
But what a failure! I haven’t looked up who Froude is, other that he is on the young side (gleaned from the bio) and has blurbs from the right people to get this book in the right hands (Alice Notley, Maggie Nelson, others). Here’s hoping you’ll pick it up.