National Poetry Month San Antonio Ekphrastic Mini-Workshop

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Date(s) - 03/08/2021 - 03/25/2021
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Join Artpace and celebrate National Poetry Month! 

 Artpace has partnered with National Poetry Month San Antonio to provide an Ekphrastic Poetry Mini-Workshop and asks you to write a poem in response to Paloma Mayorga’s print series Semillas (Seeds) 

Beginning March 8, an Ekphrastic Poetry Mini-Workshop Guide will be available online at artpace.org. The public is asked to submit their poems responding to Semillas through March 25. Selected poems will be highlighted throughout National Poetry Month in April. 

Paloma Mayorga is an interdisciplinary artist and independent curator based in Austin, Texas. She earned a B.A. in Painting from the Sarofim School of Fine Arts at Southwestern University in 2010 and has gone on to receive the Emerging Artist Award from the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center in 2015, Best Visual Artist by the Austin Chronicle 2017 Reader’s Poll, and Southwestern University’s 18 Under 40 Award for 2020. To learn more about Paloma Mayorga and view her artwork as part of After Carolee: Tender and Fierce at artpace.org 

Mini-Workshop: Writing an Ekphrastic Poem in Response to a Visual Work of Art 

What is an ekphrastic poem? 

In simplest terms, an ekphrastic poem is one written in response to another art form:  a visual work of art; a piece of music or dance, etc. For purposes of this National Poetry Month mini-workshop, write a response to a visual work of art. Examples of famous ekphrastic poems are: Ode to a Grecian Urn by John Keats; Nine Nectarines and Other Porcelain by Marianne Moore; and The Starry Night by Ann Sexton.  

Tips for writing an ekphrastic poem 

  • Choosing one artwork that you respond to (touches, puzzles, frightens, clarifies) is key.  
  • Go broad or go small: Write about the scene as a whole—or focus on a specific detail. 
  • Choose an approach—there is no right or wrong way to write your poem: 
  • Write as an outsider: Write from the perspective of a “narrator”—how you are moved by the scene or subject depicted in the artwork as an objective observer (not just a description of what you see). 
  • Write as an insider: Imagine yourself standing “inside” the artwork, then write in the subjective voice of the person or objects shown. 

 Your assignment 

  1. Select an artwork that moves you from the participating exhibiting venues listed below.  
  2. Study the artwork online. It might help to jot down notes about the details. 
  3. When you’re ready, reflect on the artwork you chose, review your notes, then write one poem that reflects your response (How does the artwork affect you? Why?). 
  4. Keep the poem to no more than 15 lines (not including the title). 
  5. By March 25, send your poem as an attached Word doc directly to the art venue at the appropriate email listed below. Subject Line: Ekphrastic Workshop Poem (Your Name). Venues may choose to display or share some poems. 

Participating art venues 

Artpace Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/Artpaceemail: amireles@artpace.org  

Blue Star webhttp://bluestarcontemporary.org,Instagram: @bluestarart; facebook.com/BlueStarArtemailmari@bluestarcontemporary.org 

 Say Si web: http://www.saysi.org, Instagram: @saysi_sa, email: christina@saysi.org 

The Carver Community Cultural Center webhttps://thecarver.org/poetryemaileducation@thecarver.org