Thursday, July 10, 2008

Review of Mark Vinz's Late Night Calls

Late Night Calls
by Mark Vinz
New Rivers Press

A professor of English at Moorhead State University, Mark Vinz here gathers together his prose poems--brief, no-frills recountings of his everyday life, neither sordid enough to be called confessional nor dramatized enough to be pure fiction. He writes of the "blue stuff" used to clean toilets, the joys of taking an afternoon nap, and the problem of running out of gas in front of the state prison. Vinz's prose is direct and simple, using few metaphors or allusions, and his first person narrator speaks in a comfortably ordinary voice. If these texts were not billed as prose poems, you might suspect them of being personal observations or reminiscences. Calling them prose poems implies an artistic shaping of raw experience so subtle here as to be almost invisible. There seem to be no boundaries between Vinz's life and art, between the private man and the public persona.

Imagine that.

--Thomas Wiloch

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