'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


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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