The Francis Ponge Prize for Prose Poetry/Flash Fiction

Francis Ponge
We are looking for a poem or piece of flash fiction that reveals some connection to the prose poetry of Francis Ponge.
From The Poetry Foundation:
“Francis Ponge has been called “the poet of things” because simple objects like a plant, a shell, a cigarette, a pebble, or a piece of soap are the subjects of his prose poems. For Ponge, all objects “yearn to express themselves, and they mutely await the coming of the word so that they may reveal the hidden depths of their being,”

‘Make it new.’ Ponge’s ever-renewed attempts to celebrate objects of everyday experience in a language enlightened by puns and complex words, with onomatopoeia, and the calligrammatic, were not a restless search for novelty but rather a way of transcending ‘modernity’ and restoring a Wordsworthian appreciation of the simple things in life: slate, the Seine, asparagus, and tables.”

The Oyster, by Francis Ponge
The oyster, the size of an average rock, is rougher in appearance, less uniform in color, brilliantly pale. It’s a world obstinately closed-off. However, you can open it: to do so, you have to cup it in a rag, and employ a dull, perforated blade, and go at it several times. In doing so, curious fingers get cut, nails broken: it’s a dirty job. The blows you rain down upon it mark the casing with white rings, like halos.
Inside you find a whole world, to eat and drink: under a firmament (to be precise) of nacre, heavens above give way to heavens below, to create no more than a puddle, an oily olive-tinged squelch, that ebbs and flows, the smell and the sight, fringed along the edges in black lace.
On very rare occasions, scree collects in its lustrous throat. Those who find this immediately decorate themselves with it.


  1. The winning poem will receive a $200 award.
  2. 5 additional poems will receive $25 honorable mention awards.
  3. Prize winners will be presented on the RAR home page as a Featured Writer.
  4. Prize winners will be eligible for publication of a chapbook of prose poetry/flash fiction by RAR’s book length publication service – Uncollected Press.
  5. There are no rules of form and content other than the piece must be a prose poem or flash fiction. The sole criteria for selecting a winner is the power of the emotional/psychological/spiritual impact on editors reading the poem.
  6. There are no particular trade-craft requirements. Single or double space, left-center-right justification, long lines/short lines, standard use of punctuation or not, etc.
  7. TYPOS – we understand it is difficult to catch all typos. NOTE: we will presume a typo is volitional, so for the purpose of maintaining your intent for the poem it is in your best interest to review carefully, get help from other readers, etc.
  8. Review of poems is blind. Please do not put your name or any other identifying information on your pages.
  9. No BIO needed at this time. You can use the cover letter space provided on the submission form to discuss your poem or skip the cover letter entirely. What you write as a cover letter will have no bearing on selection for the prize but may help us to understand and change our focus on your submission.
  10. Editors are prohibited from rejecting a poem on first read. All poems get at least 2 reads before a decision is made.
  11. Editors assume you are smarter than we are. We will strive to understand your intention ; stay open-minded and avoid imposing our presumptions on your work.
  12. We will never use irresponsible and self-aggrandizing language to describe your work like “purple writing” or “center justification is a gimmick”.
  13. We will accept poems on a revolving basis during the submission period as blog posts on The Raw Art Review’s front page and for inclusion in The Raw Art Review’s next journal volume. This first acceptance will include the writer’s work on the short-list for the contest winner.
  14. We value the slush pile. (Not a derogatory term among our editors). A poem that is rejected is returned to the slush pile for future consideration.
  15. 3 poems per entry. Multiple entry submissions are fine but fee applies to each additional submission.
  16. Simultaneous submission is fine.
  17. Previously published poems are eligible provided the submitter owns the rights to republish.  We are happy to recognize the original publisher upon your request.
  18. Submission Deadline is November 30, 2018.
  19. You must use Submittable for submissions