Welcome to the fifth UK issue of Poetry International Web, with which we celebrate the start of our second year as country editors. As I write this first introduction to our new year, I am surrounded by bustling for National Poetry Day 2006, on the theme of Identity, and it seems appropriate that this issue of PIW explores prose poetry, removing the line break that some would think essential to poetry's identity.
I'm pleased to say that our guest editor, Nikki Santilli, has made a selection of prose poems that prove that belief misguided. Santilli, an expert on prose poetry, was previously invited to introduce the British prose poem to an American audience through the pages of Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, and an edited version of her opening essay makes a far better introduction to the form than I can provide in this small space.
Similarly, the poets are probably best met through their own pages than through my excitement. But I am excited by the pleasures to be found in these poets, whose backgrounds range from ecology and medicine to Old Norse. By haunting scraps of narrative, by psalmodic birds, strange animals, and the collision of Seneca and Gertrude Stein. By the panoply of poetic techniques to found - rhyme, rhythm, alliteration, incantation, etc - that prove these to be more than prosaic, in face of the loss of the line break. By what you're about to read. Enjoy!