Saturday, February 06, 2016

An Ekphrastic Poeting and Editing Opportunity

Happy February!

I am so glad that I have switched priorities around so that artistic and poetic opportunities can surface! One of my dearest artist friends presented me with both a writing (poetry) and an editing opportunity with the South Bend Museum of Art. I am excited about the prospects!

Last week, four of us (two South Bend Museum of Art members, the curator, and me) met to launch a chapbook. Several poets (just shy of 20) were asked to visit the South Bend Museum of Art, study one of the art pieces in the permanent collection, and write a poem (or poems) about it.

I did not know there was a name for it. The form of poetry is called ekphrastic poetry. Have you ever heard of it? I had not until recently! Microsoft Word has not even heard of it--I had to add "ekphrastic" to their dictionary. I have also seen the word "ekphrasis" on Google.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary (online), ekphrasis is defined as "a literary description of or a commentary on a visual work of art." I have written poems about artists before, so I have unknowingly written ekphrastic poetry. You may have too!

So, what will happen is that the selected poets will visit the museum, and then submit up to three or four poems about the particular piece of artwork. The poets will then send the poems to me, and I will compile them into a chapbook. After I have edited a draft, I will submit the chapbook to the other members for perusal. When it has been approved, the chapbook will be printed and copies will be sold at the event (which takes place in April). When everything is finished, we hope to collaborate next year.

There is so much talent in Michiana, and I am looking forward to seeing the poets and reading their words!

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