Robert Alexander

My Works

Richmond Burning
A collection of fifteen prose poems and one flash sequence, these spare yet sturdy pieces move from southern Wisconsin to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, with side-trips to Richmond, Virginia, and Louisville, Kentucky.

What the Raven Said
"Robert Alexander has long been in my 'top ten' living poets. There is a decided uniqueness in Alexander's work that puts him in that rare category of a memorable poet."
—Jim Harrison

White Pine Sucker River: Poems 1970-1990
“This remarkable collection of prose poems captures, by swoops, the engagingly personal and wild universe the true naturalist finds around every corner. It is the depth of detail in these poems that makes them so appealing, and beyond the detail is the mind that sifts and chooses, looks and finds.“
—Great River Review

The Northwest Ordinance: Constitutional Politics and the Theft of Native Land
Passed by Congress in July 1787, the Northwest Ordinance laid out the basic form of government for all territory owned by the United States north of the Ohio River. That summer, the Constitutional Convention drafted the defining document of the American Republic. A bargain struck between both bodies outlawed slavery north of the Ohio River, at the same time giving Southern states Congressional and Electoral College representation based on population figures that included slaves—valued at three-fifths of a free white citizen.

Because of this agreement, the western lands acquired from Great Britain after the Revolutionary War were divided into slave and free states—a compromise which, when it failed, precipitated the Civil War 74 years later. For years most historians denied that this political deal took place. Drawing on contemporary letters and documents, this detailed analysis re-examines the Ordinance and how Congress silently permitted the South's “peculiar institution” to move westward.

Five Forks: Waterloo of the Confederacy - A Civil War Narrative
“I have read a range of work from Hart Crane and Walt Whitman to contemporary writers. Five Forks stands with the best of them, an original and imaginative creation the structure of which (part narrative, part poetry, part history, part journal) sets it apart and heightens its appeal.”
—Marie Harris, New Hampshire Poet Laureate 1999-2004

Spring Phantoms: 19th Century Prose Shorts by British and American Authors
A collection of prose poems and flash fiction, from William Blake to Kate Chopin.

Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the Flash Sequence
A ground-breaking anthology of cross-genre work with a unique focus—the flash sequence, defined as an “accumulation of two or more prose pieces, with each segment not to exceed 500 words”—this collection brings together over fifty of America’s most compelling writers with their own vision of the form, including linked prose poems, narrative sequences, lyrical essays, koans, fairy tales, and epistolary addresses.

Family Portrait: American Prose Poetry, 1900-1950
A collection of prose poems and flash fiction by American Modernist authors, both well-known and nearly-forgotten. Contains work by thirty authors, including Sherwood Anderson, Paul Bowles, Kay Boyle, Harry Crosby, H. D., T. S. Eliot, Kenneth Patchen, Gertrude Stein, and William Carlos Williams. Introduction by Margueritte S. Murphy, and an afterword by the editor.

"Anyone interested in the roots of the prose poem will find this anthology a major contribution to the field. . . . Family Portrait brings many new members into the prose poem genealogy and challenges our assumptions about this simple yet profound literary form. " —Rain Taxi

The House of Your Dream: An International Collection of Prose Poetry
Poets include Nin Andrews, Robert Bly, Ale Debeljak, Russell Edson, Marie Harris, Juan Ramon Jimenez, Peter Johnson, Kim Kwang Kyu, Morton Marcus, Gabriela Mistral, Pablo Neruda, Naomi Shihab Nye, Charles Simic, Tomas Transtromer, James Wright, and many others.

The Party Train: A Collection of North American Prose Poetry
Over three hundred prose poems by 144 authors, including a short historical section and introductory essays by each of the three editors: Robert Alexander, Mark Vinz, and C. W. Truesdale.

Selected Works

Poetry
A chapbook of prose shorts.
"If there's such a thing as a Midwestern prose poem, Alexander surely invented it."—Peter Johnson
“A lucid and totally engrossing book of poems.” —Jim Harrison
Nonfiction
"A fascinating tale of political intrigue, land speculation, and sectional haggling"--Jon Kukla
“Five Forks is a splendid and intriguing study. The prose is improbably lucid and lovely." —Jim Harrison
Anthologies
“An important addition to the burgeoning exploration of brief prose and flash fiction . . . an abundance of rich, fragmented, carefully crafted moments.”—Tara L. Masih
"An essential addition to our library of American literature."—Lydia Davis
Includes voices from Europe, Asia, South America, and the United States.
"For North American prose poetry - the definitive anthology."—Peter Johnson