A truly unique book of illustrated creative prose
Alcatraz is a one-of-a-kind illustrated anthology of short prose and prose poetry. It showcases works from many of the most exciting practitioners writing in English across the globe.
This includes work by luminaries such as Will Alexander, Indran Amirthanayagam, Nin Andrews, Maxine Chernoff, Denise Duhamel, Holly Iglesias, Peter Johnson, Luke Kennard, Naveen Kishore, Janice Lee, Jane Monson, Mariko Nagai, Nguyen Phan Que Mai, Alvin Pang, Lauren Russell, Fiona Sampson, Ian Seed, Sudeep Sen, John Skoyles, Donna Stonecipher, Sam Wagan Watson, Cyril Wong, Nicholas Wong, Jenny Xie and Gary Young.
The volume is edited by the award-winning Australian prose poets Cassandra Atherton and Paul Hetherington who recently published the definitive book about the form, Prose Poetry: An Introduction (Princeton University Press, 2020), and the authoritative Anthology of Australian Prose Poetry (Melbourne University Press, 2020). The book is illustrated by renowned artist and publisher, Phil Day, whose work recently appeared in the New Yorker.
The anthology is titled Alcatraz largely because of the playfulness inherent in the word, which contains the first and last letters of the English alphabet in first and last positions. Contributing writers were asked to respond to the idea of 'Alcatraz' in any way they chose - whether directly or more tangentially. This resulted in a wonderful series of responses, taking on and expanding a wide array of the associations connected to this historically loaded word.
The book is highly inventive in its layout, with contributions appearing according to their length. This means that the book moves from the shortest to the longest pieces and the illustrations complement the shape of the written pieces. They are line drawings, playing on the idea of taking a line from the work and representing it obliquely without ever overwhelming it.
Alcatraz is a creative, unusual and distinctive volume celebrating international collaboration and the special magic that happens in the meeting of short prose works and visual art.