Distance not only gives nostalgia, but perspective, and maybe objectivity.
With prose you can incorporate more details, develop scenes, sustain the tension in a special way. Prose has its own speed.
A lot of my students are Asian-American, and it has been thrilling to watch them break through the stereotypes into something alive and surprising.
I encourage students to pursue an idea far enough so they can see what the cliches and stereotypes are. Only then do they begin to hit pay dirt.
I seem to keep returning to my father in poems because his personality was so extreme, so driven. He did everything to excess.