The Looking Glass : New Perspectives on Children's Literature, Vol 10, No 3 (2006)

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Emerging Scholars
& New Voices


Subcategories Within the Emerging Genre of the Verse Novel

Vikki Van Sickle


Vikki Van Sickle is currently completing a Master of Arts in Children's Literature at the University of British Columbia. She obtained an honours degree in Drama from Queen's University, Canada, in the spring of 2005. Her creative work has appeared in Chameleon, UBC's journal of creative writing for children, and she was a panellist at the first annual Graduate Studies Interdisciplinary Conference at UBC, discussing the changing perspectives on children's book illustration. Vikki is interested in creative writing and hopes to pursue a career in education.


The verse novel is a form of literature that has especially captured the attention of the young adult audience. Consequently, the verse novel has received a lot of critical attention in the past few years, much of which has been dismissive or sceptical. In this essay Vikki will demonstrate how the verse novel is a diverse postmodern genre by analysing the similarities and differences in a variety of works and placing them in subcategories that exist within the wider definition of verse novel.

 

The term verse novel, used to describe a novel written in a series of free verse poems, has recently entered the lexicon of young adult literature. Free verse poems do not have a regular rhyming scheme or metre. In his article "Repositioning Narrative: The Late-Twentieth Century Verse Novels of Vikram Seth, Derek Walcott, Craig Raine, Anthony Burgess, and Bernadine Evaristo", Lars Ole Sauerberg traces the origin of the verse novel to the long narrative poems of the Romantic and Victoria eras, and suggests that the verse novel appeals to a postmodern audience because of its combination of modalities, namely verse and the novel. While adult versions of the verse novel do exist, such as those discussed in Sauerberg's article, the verse novel appears to be a form of literature that has especially captured the attention of the young adult audience. Consequently, the verse novel has received a lot of critical attention in the past few years, much of which has been dismissive or skeptical. In this essay I will demonstrate how the verse novel is a diverse postmodern genre by analysing the similarities and differences in a variety of works and placing them in subcategories that exist within the wider definition of verse novel.

In her article "The Verse-novel: A New Genre," Joy Alexander gives a general overview of the publishing history of the verse novel. She refers to the website of author Sonya Sones, who has written three verse novels herself, which lists forty verse novels, and notes that "almost two thirds of them have been published since 2000" (Alexander 269). The earliest publications on the website are Brenda Seabrooke's Judy Scuppernong (1990) and Cynthia Rylant's Soda Jerk (1990). In the mid-1990s, the most significant contributions to the genre include Virginia Euwer Wolff's Make Lemonade (1993), Mel Glenn's Tower High series, the first of which being Who Killed Mr. Chippendale? A Mystery in Poems (1996), and Karen Hesse's Newbery Award-winning Out of the Dust (1997). Out of the Dust is arguably the first verse novel to be widely recognized and applauded. Of the novels studied in this paper, two were published in the mid-nineties: Out of the Dust (1997), The Taking of Room 114: A Hostage Drama in Poems (1997), and four were published post-2000: Love That Dog (2001), Witness (2001), True Believer (2001), The Crazy Man (2005).

The emergence of the verse novel has sparked debates on genre: are they fiction or poetry? (Sullivan 44). Joy Alexander describes the term as "problematic" (270), and questions how one distinguishes "between a novel told in verse and a series of poems linked by a narrative sequence" (270). Review media has been very skeptical of the verse novel. In an article published in Horn Book Magazine, Patty Campbell says that "good verse novels fit that dictionary definition of 'poetry', especially in their use of condensed language, natural cadences, and metaphor" (611). This comment suggests that verse novels that are not what the dictionary defines as poetic are less worthy, which is a limited perspective. In an article entitled "Things That Tick Me Off!" Peter D. Sieruta questions the validity of verse novels:

Arranging words
prettily
on a page
does not necessarily
turn prose
into
poetry

(Sieruta 225)

These critics, among others, are questioning the formal aspects of the verse novel with little consideration of the relationship between the form and the content. Virginia Euwer Wolff, author of the verse novel Make Lemonade and its sequel True Believer recognizes the importance of the relationship between form and content: "If form is only an extension of content and we want to try to make our stories as convincing as they can be, we have to find the right form. I find the only form in which I can write the thing" (Sutton n.pag)

In the verse novel the form in which the content is presented is the distinguishing feature of the genre, but the form itself is very flexible. There is much variation in terms of how a verse novel is presented. Each novel studied in this paper is written in a series of short, free verse poems, but that is where the similarity ends. In her Newbery acceptance speech for Out of the Dust, Karen Hesse reveals that she:

never attempted to write this book any other way than in free verse. The frugality of life, the hypnotically hard work of farming, the grimness of conditions during the dust bowl demanded an economy of words. Daddy and Ma and Billie Jo's rawboned life translated into poetry, and bless Scholastic for honouring that translation and producing Out of the Dust with the spare understatement I sought when writing it.
(422)

Although many verse novels have common characteristics, distinct subcategories exist within the basic framework. I have identified three subcategories that exist within the genre: poetic singular voice, multiple voice, and dramatic monologue. There are many overlapping elements in these categories, which are not mutually exclusive. Yet in each category the content is presented in a slightly different manner, which reflects the nature of the story and its character(s). In each of these categories, it is the relationship between the form and content that distinguishes the novels and demonstrates that the verse novel is an exciting and valid literary form.

Poetic Singular Voice

While all verse novels contain some degree of poetic figurative language, there is a subset of novels that overtly incorporate or play with poetic tradition. These are the verse novels that Patty Campbell would approve because of their use of traditional poetic devices. Verse is quite simply described as "a composition written in meter" (Abrams 160). There are many definitions of poetry, which all include to some degree a discussion of technical elements, but it is Myra Cohn Livingston who reinvigorates the definition of poetry for children in her distinction that poetry "allows children to experience life in a deeper sense" (10). The verse novels in this subcategory draw on the technical aspects of poetry, such as personification, extended metaphor, imagery, and standard metrical patterns in order to transcend the literal and leave an emotional impression upon the reader.

Karen Hesse incorporates many poetic traditions in Out of the Dust (1997) . This searing novel chronicles a traumatic year in the life of Billie Jo, a pre-adolescent girl growing up in the Kansas panhandle during a period of severe dust storms and drought. In a fluke accident, Billie Jo throws a pail of burning kerosene on her pregnant mother. The pail of kerosene is left by the side of the stove and catches fire. Ma runs out of the house, calling for her husband. Billie Jo takes the pail of burning kerosene and throws it out the door, not realizing that her mother has turned around and come back. Her mother is splashed with the contents of the pail and is seriously burned. Both Ma and the baby die, and Billie Jo's hands are scarred, leaving her unable to play the piano, which is her one source of solace in the world. The accident creates a void between Billie Jo and her rather stoic father. The novel investigates themes of guilt and forgiveness.

The narration is delivered in first person. Billie Jo's voice is clear and distinctive. The major difference in voice in this novel is that Hesse imbues Billie Jo's voice with poetic language. Billie Joe uses sophisticated imagery, form, and personification. Although it is believable and authentic, it is unnatural to speak in such poetic terms. Each poem, though spare, is emotionally dense. The sparseness of Hesse language conveys the sparseness of the landscape:

Daddy says
that war tore France up
worse than a tornado,
worse than a dust storm,
but no matter,
the wild poppies bloomed in the trail of the fighting,
brightening the French countryside.

I wish I could see poppies
growing out of this dust.
(44)

Hesse also uses sporadic rhymes throughout her poems, such as "bare as a pear" (55) and "All across the land/ couples dancing, / arm in arm, hand in hand, / at the Birthday Ball" (115). Of the novels studied in this paper, Billie Jo's voice is the most sophisticated in terms of its poetic imagery, metaphor, and rhythmic construction.

Hesse also uses form and layout to convey the structure of piano music. In the poem "On Stage," the sentences are divided and placed on opposite sides of the page. The lines on the right side are the continuation of phrases begun by the lines on the left side. The interplay between the text on the right and the left is reminiscent of piano music, and the relationship between the left and right hand:

When I point my fingers at the keys
the music
springs straight out of me.
Right hand
playing notes sharp as
tongues,
telling stories while the
smooth
buttery rhythms back me up
on the left.
(Hesse 13)

The strongest poetic device in Out of the Dust, however, is Hesse's use of imagery. The bare, scraped earth works as a metaphor for Billie Jo's own raw emotional wounds. The land is incessantly battered, just as Billie Jo's self-esteem and sense of self-worth is repeatedly assaulted:

The dust came,
tearing up fields where the winter wheat,
set for harvest in June,
stood helpless.
I watched the plants,
surviving after so much drought and so much wind,
I watched them fry,
or
flatten,
or blow away,
like bits of cast-off rags.
(31)

Like the plants, Billie Jo has also survived a series of terrible events, and she is on the verge of picking up and leaving the dust for a kinder, more welcoming landscape. Billie Jo and her father are suffocating under the weight of all of the things they do not say to each other, just as their wheat is suffocating under heavy dunes of dust:

My father and I,
we can't soothe each other.
I'm too young,
he's too old,
and we don't know how to talk anymore
if we ever did.
(153)

Almost every poem in Out of the Dust makes a reference to the landscape or the weather. The setting is more than just a setting in this novel, it is a metaphor.

Sharon Creech's 2001 novel Love That Dog is an intertextual and metafictive work about poetry. The novel is presented as the English workbook of Jack, a primary school student. It takes the reader through his personal journey with poetry. In early entries, he resists poetry: "I don't want to / because boys / don't write poetry. / Girls do." (Creech 1). After reading "The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams, Jack says:

If that is a poem
about the red wheelbarrow
and the white chickens
then any words
can be a poem.
You've just got to
Make
short
lines.
(Creech 3)

Jack discusses eight well-known poems in his journal. He discusses the merits, and in some cases, the limitations, of each one and then writes his own poem in the same style. In response to "The Tiger" by William Blake for instance he writes: "I am sorry to say/ I did not really understand/ the tiger tiger burning bright poem/ but at least it sounded good/ in my ears" (8). He likes the way the poem sounds, even though he does not understand it. This is the turning point in Jack's attitude toward poetry. He writes his own version of "The Tiger": "Blue car, blue car, shining bright/ in the darkness of the night: / who could see you speeding by/ like a comet in the sky?" (8).

Through his journal entries, his responses, and his own experiments with poetic form, Jack learns to appreciate poetry and realizes that he too can write it. However Betty Carver's review of Love That Dog suggests that Creech has failed in convincing the reader that Jack is a poet, and that "his linguistic banality restricts his expression . . . and limits his voice" (743). I do not believe the book intends to present Jack as an accomplished poet, but rather as a reluctant student who learns to appreciate poetry and finds it a satisfying means of expression. Love That Dog is about the accessibility of poetry, and its importance in the lives of young people. The title of the book refers to the final poem Jack writes, as inspired by Walter Dean Myer's poem "Love That Boy." Jack's version is about his beloved dog Sky, who was killed by a car:

Love that dog
like a bird loves to fly
I said love that dog
like a bird loves to fly
Love to call him in the morning
love to call him
"Hey there, Sky!"
(Creech 86)

Creech includes the poems Jack that discusses in the text at the back of the book. The poems she chooses demonstrate the wide range of poetic styles that exist. Love That Dog is a self-reflexive work of poetic literature. The novel is about poetry, makes references to existing poems, and is written in a poetic form. While Jack speaks in free verse, he also writes his own poems, some of which are free verse, but others are not. Poetry is the centre of this novel, not only in form but in content.

Dramatic Monologue

Pamela Porter's The Crazy Man (2005) and Virginia Euwer Wolff's True Believer (2001) have more in common with dramatic monologue than with poetry. A dramatic monologue is delivered by a single person who is not the poet (Abrams 70). In both Porter and Wolff's novels, it is clear that the speakers are young women and are not the voices of the respective authors. A dramatic monologue is usually delivered at a critical moment (Abrams 70). In The Crazy Man, the novel begins with the speaker, Emaline, attempting to come to terms with the consequences of a farm accident that has left her injured, her dog dead, and her father missing. Similarly, in True Believer, LaVaughn falls in love for the first time and deals with the consequences, including heartbreak and a reconsideration of her values in life. Both of these novels are about a critical point in the protagonist's life.

Perhaps the underlying tenet or central feature of the dramatic monologue is the revelation of the speaker's true character and temperament, as described by M.H. Abrams in A Glossary of Literary Terms (70). This is achieved by what the reader derives about the speaker from the speech in terms of tone, repetition, emphasis, and action. It is not necessarily how the speaker describes his or her self, but what his or her actions and voice say about the character (Abrams 70). In both The Crazy Man and True Believer, Emaline and LaVaughn do not interpret or analyse their own actions. They simply tell events and express emotions. The reader is left to interpret events from their speech.

For example, in The Crazy Man, it becomes clear that Mei Wang and her family are victims of racism, but Emaline never calls it racism nor does she condemn it as wrong. This differentiates the dramatic monologue from the journal or diary novel, a form that the verse novel is often compared to, which is full of analysis. In The Crazy Man, the situation is described without the reflection of the protagonist:

Once Mei invited me over after school, said
We could pick oranges from the produce section
of her parents' store, the one
most folks call the Chink store.
Maybe she could teach me
to work the cash register, Mei said. I pleaded
with Mum to let me go.
But Mum said no.
(Porter 28)

Although formally distinct, dramatic monologue verse novels do share similarities with poetic verse novels: they are both told in free verse; have memorable voices; and have first person narrators. Dramatic monologue verse novels tend to be more events driven than poetic verse novels. The Crazy Man and True Believer are told chronologically with very few or no flashbacks. They are both told in present tense, which creates a sense of immediacy and pulls the reader into the story. Each poem in The Crazy Man and True Believer moves the plot forward. This differs from poetic verse novels, which contain poems that establish atmosphere or character. Tone and setting are important aspects of poetry, and therefore more time is devoted to establishing these aspects in poetic verse novels than in the dramatic monologue form. For example, in Out of the Dust, which I have categorized as a poetic verse novel, "On Stage" describes the joy Billie Jo feels when she plays the piano (Hesse 13-14). This poem, like many in Out of the Dust, does not further the plot but exists to deepen the reader's understanding of Billie Jo's character.

The major poetic device in dramatic monologue verse novels is the free verse form in which they are written. The speakers are not crafting poems for class or for their own pleasure, as Jack does in Love That Dog. There are no unusual uses of space or rhythm and absolutely no instances of rhyme. Instead, the verse in The Crazy Man and True Believer reads like a transcript of the speakers talking. The verse is full of colloquialisms, grammatical errors and conversational speech rhythms. Virginia Euwer Wolff has said that both Make Lemonade and True Believer were written in free verse because "It's the way I heard the voice that was telling it" (qtd in Sutton n. pag):

We pass the dishes. My mom has truly done it up this time.
This fish with curry in the sauce is one of my favourites
and she also made some delicious potato thing.
All I did was the salad, but Lester makes sure he appreciates it
Up one side and down the other.
(Wolff 109)

Multiple Voice Verse Novels

Multiple voice verse novels draw on elements of both dramatic monologue and poetic verse novels. They may be poetic in terms of figurative language or form, but the major distinction between these subgenres is the number of voices. Multiple voice verse novels are told in a variety of first-person voices. The voices are clearly defined and differentiated by their opinions, concerns, speech rhythms and use of language. While the other two categories discussed in this paper are intensely emotional and explore the speaker's personal journey, multiple voice novels explore the many sides of an issue. In most cases, the multiple voice verse novel reads like a piece of creative nonfiction.

The illusion of reality creates a parallel between multiple voice verse novels and the recent theatrical trend, ethnotheatre. As Johnny Saldana notes, the goal of ethnotheatre is "to investigate a particular facet of the human condition for the purposes of adapting those observations and insights into a performance medium" (Saldana 1). An ethnodrama is "a written script consisting of dramatized significant selections of narrative collected through interviews, participant observation field notes, journal entries, and/or print and media artefacts such as diaries, TV broadcasts, newspaper articles and court proceedings" (Saldana 2). Ethnodramas are often ensemble plays with a "polyphonic narrative", providing a wide spectrum of voices and opinions; there are no lead roles (Saldana 17). Two recent and popular examples of ethnodramas are The Vagina Monologues, published in 2001, and The Laramie Project, also published in 2001. The Vagina Monologues is a collection of monologues about women and sexuality created from Eve Ensler's interviews with hundreds of women. The Laramie Project is a series of scenes, including monologues and dialogues, created from over 200 interview transcripts with the residents of Laramie, Wyoming regarding the murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998.

Like these examples of ethnodramas, multiple verse novels are also eclectic collections of narrative, journal entries, and print and media artefacts that provide insights into the human condition. There are many opinions and no obvious central characters. However, the major difference between ethnodramas and multiple voice verse novels is that in the verse novels, the print and media artefacts are fictional, and are created to reflect the various kinds of information sources. While multiple voice verse novels contain personal and emotional passages, the overall effect of a multiple verse novel is to provide insight into an event rather than focus on one person's experience of that event. Mel Glenn's The Taking of Room 114 is about a senior class being held hostage by their teacher. The novel touches on many issues, both social and personal. Glenn uses a total of 43 different voices, including students, teachers, parents, police officers, reporters and spectators. Each poem or passage is titled with the speaker's name and his/her title or occupation, for example "Harry Balinger, Police Captain" (Glenn 182).

Glenn uses a variety of styles in this novel, including newspaper articles, live transcripts of television reports, one-sided conversations, dialogues, inner monologues, and written notes. The use of different styles helps to differentiate the characters. For example, Brad McCall's entries are all written as concrete poems that compliment the sport he is describing:

Long
the............ .jump
for................................ I
off ..............................................fly
When I take............................................................. like a bird.
(126)

Karen Hesse's novel Witness describes the events that happen to a small town in Vermont following the arrival of the Ku Klux Klan. There are eleven voices, including two children, a doctor, a clergyman, a news paper editor, a farmer, a teenager, a rum runner, a shop owner and his wife, and a town constable. The characters range in age and beliefs. Each poem is titled with the name of the speaker, just as Glenn does in The Taking of Room 114. Hesse divides her novel into five acts, a structure borrowed from theatre. The villains of the piece are given voices just as the victims and the bystanders. Like Glenn, Hesse skilfully provides background information in the poems that inform the choices and decisions made by the characters.

Poems written in first person are not a typical informational format and therefore feel like a piece of constructed fiction. But newspaper articles or transcripts from television reports are forms that are used to convey factual information, and therefore create an illusion of non-fiction. In some cases, a discrepancy exists between various sources. In our increasingly media-savvy world, the public is aware that discrepancies happen all the time between witnesses and information sources. In the case of the multiple voice verse novel, the reader feels as though he/she has been given all sides of the story, and therefore the reader is invited to form an informed opinion about the accuracy of certain perspectives, the characters and the circumstances of the event.

The Taking of Room 114 and Witness present the 'facts' of a situation, through the lenses of various participants and witnesses. It is nearly impossible to create a piece of literature without bias. Both Glenn and Hesse present all sides of an issue and open the matter for discussion. In this manner, multiple voice verse novels explore larger social issues rather than the personal conflicts that are the heart of poetic verse or dramatic monologue verse novels such as Out of the Dust or True Believer.

Characterization is important in every novel and has been a central element of all of the verse novels studied in this paper. In multiple voice verse novels it is particularly important for the characterization to be strong for the purposes of differentiation. Both Glenn and Hesse create believable, distinctive characters through the use of vernacular, dialect, grammar, and diction. The style of narration is closer to that in dramatic monologue verse novels than it is to poetic verse novels. While it is true that some of the poems are poetic in a traditional sense, such as the afore-mentioned poems of Brad McCall in The Taking of Room 114, which are concrete poems, most of them read like an unedited transcript of the character speaking.

In Witness, Fitzgerald Flitt, the town doctor, uses perfect grammar and speaks in a formal manner that is appropriate for an educated man. He uses phrases such as "inordinate fondness" and "declining social standard" (Hesse 22). Johnny Reeve's speech is peppered with references to God, hell, and religion, which befits a clergyman. The rhythm of his speech is also indicative of the repetitive, call to action style of preaching:

i have reached the pinnacle, neighbor.
tapped by the exalted dragons.
i, neighbour, led the klan
in their opening prayers.
the gathering prayed with me,
neighbor, in the summer morning
with the bees humming in the clover.
they prayed with me as i declared the klan a
movement of god.
(Hesse 70)

Esther Hirsh, who is six years old, uses improper grammar and very little punctuation, which reminds the reader of her youth:

i was having chasing games with margaret
and I did fall and hit my head on a rock
the rock made big heart beatings in my eye
(36)

Glenn uses similar techniques to create solid characterizations in his novel. Roger Dunlop, the assistant principal uses phrases that are common to school administrators:

Listen, young man, what's your name?
Well, Eddie Kellerman,
You can't park yourself in the middle of the hallways.
You're blocking traffic and causing major congestion.
(19)

Esther Torres, a born-again Christian, uses Christian symbolism in her diction:

I found a man, a real man
One who will lead me out of the darkness
Into the light of beauty and happiness.
Though I share him with others,
I do not mind.
(69)

Renata Reznitskaya is a recent immigrant from Eastern Europe who is learning to speak English:

I am, how you say,
Pulled in opposite directors.
Oh, directions, thank you.
Over one hand,
Excuse me, on one hand,
My mother takes me
To visit revelations,
Oh, relatives, thank you.
(130)

Each of these voices is appropriate in terms age, education, and personality of the character. This selection of voice demonstrates the range of possibility for characterization within the form of free verse poetry. Both Glenn and Hesse are able to create distinct and authentic characters that bring all sides of an issue to life.

Conclusion

Growing recognition for the form and the increasing number of publications indicate that verse novels are moving into the mainstream. It is a genre that is still evolving. Many librarians, educators, and critics have attempted to define the genre but are frustrated by the narrow term 'verse novel' and the diversity of books that could conceivably fall under this category. Unfortunately, this often leads to judging verse novels on the use of conventional poetic devices.

Even the authors are wary of their novels being labelled as poetry. Virginia Euwer Wolff does not want her novels Make Lemonade and True Believer to be considered poetry: "Writing my prose in funny-shaped lines does not render it poetry" (Campbell 611). Clearly, verse novels are having difficulty proving themselves as a worthy genre rather than a flashy trend. I believe the heart of the difficulty lies in the limitations and inadequacies of the term verse novel. If verse novels are only going to be judged on their merits as poetry, and not considered as anything more than an irritating passing trend, then many moving and accessible novels will be discredited. The verse novel is a complex literary genre that draws on other contemporary trends, such as ethnotheatre, to create a truly hybrid form.

Hybridization is a function of postmodernism. The combining and recombining of different forms is prevalent in all areas of culture and media. Forms of eclecticism, such as hybridity, promiscuous genres, recombinant culture, intertextuality, and pastiche are all features of postmodern texts (http://www.georgetown.edu/faculty/irvinem/technoculture/pomo.html). Verse novels have many of these elements, such as the use of multiple perspectives instead of a single authoritative voice in Witness and the intertextuality of Love That Dog. The most obvious postmodern feature of the verse novel in fact defines the genre: it is its structure, the hybridization of verse and novel form that makes it postmodern. This is the feature that causes the most strife among critics because often the verse is not technical enough to be considered a strong example of verse or poetry.

Careful study and consideration reveals that subcategories exist within the parameters of the term verse novel. Instead of approaching all verse novels with the same set of expectations and literary criteria, critics and educators need to familiarize themselves with the subtle differences between these subcategories and appreciate how an individual verse novel works. For example, is it commenting on poetry as a form? How does the form reflect the setting? How does the form reveal truths about characters or biases and social issues? Even within the realm of poetry not all poems are judged using the same criteria. One would not use the same set of standards to analyze a haiku as a lyric ballad. Instead of delineating verse novels into poetic and not poetic, which then translates into good and bad, a greater breadth of interpretation and analysis is required.

Jean-François Lyotard recognizes the stance of postmodern literature as slightly outside the realm of traditional genre-based analysis: "A post-modern artist or writer is in the position of a philosopher; the text he writes, the work he produces are not in principle governed by pre-established rules, and they cannot be judged according to a determining judgment, by applying familiar categories to the text or to the work" (qtd in Brooker 149). Clearly, familiar methods of categorization and analysis are failing the verse novel. We need to expand our perceptions of what constitutes poetry, verse, and the novel, and look at the verse novel as an exciting form in the evolutionary literary process. Verse novels should be considered a postmodernist form of literature that is accessible, of considerable emotional impact, and here to stay.

Works Consulted

Abrams, M. H. A Glossary of Literary Terms. Boston: Heinle & Heinle, 1999.

Alexander, Joy. "The Verse-novel: A New Genre." Children's Literature in Education. 36.3 (Sept 2005): 269-283.

Bertens, Hans. Literary Theory: The Basics. London: Routledge, 2001.

Brooker, Peter, Ed. Modernism/Postmodernism. London: Longman, 1992.

Campbell, Patty. "The Sand in the Oyster: Vetting the Verse Novel." Horn Book Magazine. 80.5 (Sept/Oct 2004): 611-616.

Carver, Betty. Love That Dog Review. Horn Book Magazine. 77.6 (Nov/Dec 2001): 743

Creech, Sharon. Love That Dog. New York: Joanna Cotler Books, 2001.

Glenn, Mel. The Taking of Room 114. New York: Lodestar Books, 1997.

Hesse, Karen. Newbery Medal Acceptance. Horn Book Magazine. 74.4 (Jul/Aug 1998).

Hesse, Karen. Out of the Dust. New York: Scholastic, 1997.

Hesse, Karen. Witness. New York: Scholastic, 2001.

Livingston, Myra Cohn. Climb Into the Bell Tower: Essays on Poetry. New York: Harper & Row, 1990.

Porter, Pamela. The Crazy Man. Toronto: Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press 2005.

Saldana, Johnny, ed. Ethnodrama: An Anthology of Reality Theatre. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press, 2005.

Sauerberg, Lars Ole. "Repositioning Narrative: The Late Twentieth-Century Verse Novels of Vikram Seth, Derek Walcott, Craig Raine, Anthony Burgess, and Bernadine Evaristo." Orbis Litterarum. 59. (2004): 439-464.

Sieruta, Peter D. "Things That Tick Me Off!" Horn Book Magazine. 81.2 (Mar/April 2005): 223-230.

Sullivan, Ed. "Fiction or Poetry?" School Library Journal. 49.8 (Aug 2003): 44-46.

Sutton, Roger. "An Interview with Virginia Euwer Wolff." Horn Book Magazine. 77.3 (May/June 2001): 280-287.

"The Laramie Project." Tectonic Theatre Project, Inc. 2001. CareBe Productions. 18 Nov 2005. http://www.tectonictheaterproject.org/Laramie Project.html

"The Po-Mo Page: Post Modern, Post Modernism, Post Modernity" Irvine, Martin. 1998. Georgetown University. 28 May 2006. http://www.georgetown.edu/faculty/irvinem/technoculture/pomo.html

Wolff, Virginia Euwer. True Believer. New York: Atheneum, 2001.

Vikki van Sickle


Volume 10, Issue 3, The Looking Glass, 2 September, 2006

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"Subcategories Within the Emerging Genre of the Verse Novel"
© Vikki VanSickle, 2006.
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