'Poetjournalism' slouches forth from Michigan to be born

Institute for Poetjournalism founder Aaron Dworkin hopes a cash prize and a wire service for 'newspoems' will help the form take off

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For Aaron Dworkin, poet, news is not that far from his butter and bread of verse. Instead, he says, they’re siblings, of a kind. Combined, they make a form anew, one which he calls (and here one must break the meter) “Poetjournalism.”

“I was thinking I had another poetry collection in me, but I wanted the poetry to have impact,” said Dworkin, a 2005 MacArthur fellow and professor of arts leadership and entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance. “I realized I wanted to be like a photojournalist, and I wanted to take a snapshot of an issue and express it through the medium of poetry. And then it came to me: that’s a poetjournalist.”

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