Compression: Carol Deminski

“Compressed fiction: saying more with less. Word choice is critical; poetic prose intention optional but desired. Readers who come ready to fill in what the author implies but does not state get more from the experience. ” — Carol Deminski


Compression: Allie Marini Batts

“Amy Sage Webb, one of my AULA professors, gives this advice, when it comes to writing in the compressed form: ‘Use the fewest amount of words necessary.’ This advice is deceptively simple, and contains the core idea that’s key to successfully writing poetry or prose in the compressed form: Not only must you select the fewest amount of words, but the words must also be the right words.” — Allie Marini Batts


Compression: Justin Bond

“To me, compression implies a certain degree of minimalism—immediacy, lean language, and a sense of urgency, all of which can result when using condensed language and imagery. ” — Justin Bond


Compression: Jesse Cheng

“Compression dressed me down, demanded that I take responsibility for the mess I’d strewn all over the past. I’ve worked to pack it all up into lighter, tighter bundles, ready for retrieval in the future. Compression is tough. It looks after me good. ” — Jesse Cheng


Compression: Jennifer Schomburg Kanke

“William Carlos Williams once said that a poem is like a machine, everything with its role to play and nothing unnecessary. In this sense, compression in poetry becomes a tricky thing because the reader must trust that the poet is not selling them a lemon, that if the reader is going to enter into the images of the poem that those images can take them somewhere, that the machine is fully operational. Thus compression is the most vulnerable art form, leaving the poet open to scrutiny and the reader susceptible to trickery.” — Jennifer Schomburg Kanke


Compression: Jared Joseph

“Small things live longest & without notice lodge in you. ” — Jared Joseph


Compression: Christopher James

“Any story is full of things that are unsaid. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it would be pretty tough to say everything. When I started writing I thought the trick, though, was to say as much as I could. Now, I think the magic happens when you unsay it all.” — Christopher James


Compression: Melinda Moore

“As our words are being compressed to abbreviations, our lives are being compressed to ones and zeroes—even our romances.” — Melinda Moore


Compression: Shaili Shah

“It’s amazing how a small circle of words send your mind in a tizzy of thoughts. The less said the better.” — Shaili Shah


Compression: Stewart Baker

“Compression in poetry is a matter of condensation—the pulp and meat of the subject squeezed into a tight space, so that the meaning coalesces on the top and drips from its sides. It is also cultural compression.” — Stewart Baker



Matter Press recently released titles from Meg Boscov, Abby Frucht, Robert McBrearty, Tori Bond, Kathy Fish, and Christopher Allen. Click here.

Matter Press is now offering private flash fiction workshops and critiques of flash fiction collections here.


11/27 • Michael Mark
12/04 • Helen Beer
12/11 • Rachel Rodman
12/18 • Betsy Robinson
12/25 • Trish Hopkinson
12/31 • Kim Chinquee
01/01 • Jill Michelle