Amuse-bouche: Prose, poetry and food

Cassandra Atherton, Paul Hetherington, Alyson Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prose poetry may be understood as a literary form of amuse-bouche, the complimentary small bite served at the beginning of some meals. Like the amuse- bouche, the prose poem is generally a small work that gestures toward the large. Furthermore, many prose poems—and poems in general—treat the subject of food, often linking it with more general or problematic notions of sensory pleasure, bodily enjoyment, sexual expression, consumption and sexual politics. In this light, we consider the broader implications of prose poems by Peter Johnson, Harryette Mullen and Nin Andrews, as well as prose poems of our own, focusing on the way food is used by these writers to symbolize broader concepts. Such notions as the extraordinary within the ordinary, enjoyment and disgust, the gaze, consumption, and the large within the small are employed to provide insights into the ways prose poems about food, some of them subversive, are so often also works about significant social and political issues—and about ways of perceiving and understanding various forms of pleasure, inhibition, predation and constraint.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)32-46
Number of pages15
JournalWriting in Practice: The Journal of Creative Writing Research
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Amuse-bouche: Prose, poetry and food'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this