While on vacation I enjoyed reading The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin. Although the book is considered fiction, there were moments that I was tempted to grab a pen and underline a few lines that I think would have been great lines of poetry. A few of these very lyrical moments made me think of some other fiction authors whose work I admire, such as Jodi Picoult and Barbara Kingsolver. When asked why I like these authors I always state that their characters are incredibly realistic and their style is very lyrical. Perhaps, I am drawn to their writing because of this lyrical quality and my poetic history. I eventually realized that some of my favorite fiction authors can almost be considered poets; in order to stay interested in a novel, I have to find beauty in the lines/sentences, rather than just the characters and plots.

Eventually, I realized that there is a rift between the different genres.We are always driven to proclaim which category we fall under and which we despise. Scan through the class listings for upper level creative writing classes and you’ll catch fiction, nonfiction and poetry workshops. Imagine if there was not as large a divide as we originally imagined. Although, there are exceptions, such as prose poetry, I still would like to see fiction and nonfiction writers acknowledging poetic techniques and elements. I love when certain sentences stand out, just as lines do.

Does anyone else have any other fiction or nonfiction authors who seem to weave poetry into their work?

One Reply to “Inclusion”

  1. Yes, yes, yes!

    As always, I’m going to recommend Claudia Rankine’s “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely!” (I’ll bring it to class for you if I can find it) But, “Wintergirls” by Laurie Halse Anderson was truly revolutionary for me as a young teenager just beginning to explore the limits of literature. After reading Anderson, I remember experimenting with punctuation and slashes because she made all of it seem so compelling in a way that I’d never experienced with e.e. cummings or Margaret Atwood. There’s a PDF I can send to you!

    Great post!


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