Poetry responding to or inspired by visual art has a long, rich tradition. From Homer to Natasha Trethewey to Rilke to Linda Bierds, poets have used the work of visual artists as a springboard for their own concerns and creations. In this generative workshop, we’ll read, write, and explore ekphrastic poems that approach their subject through a variety of lenses. Some describe the artwork itself, seeking in it understanding of something within themselves; some focus on the story of the artwork’s making–the brushstrokes, canvases, and chisels or the historic context within which it was made.
We’ll use artwork from PAAM’s collection and elsewhere, engaging a variety of times and media, including video, painting, drawing, and sculpture. Writers of all levels are welcome. Although we will only critique “lightly,” I hope students will share work in progress as a way of opening the conversation we’re building as a class.
Elizabeth Bradfield is the author of Toward Antarctica, Once Removed, Approaching Ice, and Interpretive Work as well as Theorem, a collaboration with artist Antonia Contro. Her work has been published in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Kenyon Review, and her honors include the Audre Lorde Prize and a Stegner Fellowship. Founder of the innovative Broadsided Press, which publishes monthly origin