Fragments of the Place Itself: Boston neighbourhoods in prose poetry

Cassandra Atherton, Paul HETHERINGTON

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As complex and geographically discrete life environments, city neighbourhoods are invested with a great deal of personal meaning as well as with general cultural significance. Pierre Moyal argues that ‘the city is poeticized by the subject’ and explores the refabrication and consumption of space by the city dweller, along with the outsider's creative and fractious presence. Boston, MA, has been touted as ‘the city of neighborhoods’ by Anthony Bak Buccitelli and our practice-led research project, Fragments of the Place Itself, investigates insider and outsider creativity, rupture and poetic form in Boston's North End, Beacon Hill and Cambridge neighbourhoods through prose poetry. Our project considers the notions of perambulation and drifting, and the idea of genius loci. Further, we argue that prose poetry is well suited to writing about neighbourhoods because prose poetry's fully justified text is able to set up a demarcation or ‘plot’ that readily accommodates both insider and outsider viewpoints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-169
Number of pages12
JournalNew Writing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019


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