How to Be a Dragonfly

How to Be a Dragonfly

9781902382715
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Patricia Debney is the first Canterbury Laureate - appointed in October 2007

‘The prose poem is a very special invention, like a chair that flies or a small dish that produces food for forty people.’ – David Young, Models of the Universe: An Anthology of the Prose Poem

Coming of age in the writings of decadent Europe, prose poetry re-discovered its voice through modernist American literature. Many leading writers have championed prose poetry – Baudelaire, Stein, Kafka, Calvino, Holub, Atwood – and now, emerging from these traditions, Patricia Debney adds her own resonant voice, re-introducing this contemporary yet undervalued genre to the British literary scene.

How to Be a Dragonfly

Never tuck in your wings. They grow out from your shoulders like two fingers, like hands. Learn to use them.

Let them, for instance, direct you in love: in the garden, under the apple tree in dappled shade; or above long brown grass, fast up the side of a hill. Or once, over a rocky valley, higher than you’ve ever been.

Or let them speak for you: a buzzing purr getting closer and closer. They know what you want to say.


‘…tiny monuments to lightness, mirrors in motion…’ – George Szirtes