Out There, In Here: Mysteries of the Ekphrastic Poem
The ekphrastic poem is a response to a work of visual art. It is a poem that describes the artwork, but inevitably it also leads to associations, insights, memories, the emotional contours of the inner life. Together we will probe the nature of the ekphrastic, and work on poems that describe what is “out there” in the work of art and at the same time bring to the surface what is generated “in here,” deep within the mind.
Our goal for the week will be to develop at least three new ekphrastic poems. For visual artwork, we will draw upon internet collections as well the galleries of Provincetown. Our workshop discussions will center on your poetry, but we will also examine important ekphrastic poems by other writers.
Please bring to our first class 11 copies of a poem of your own that contains an element of the ekphrastic in it.
Fred Marchant is the author of five books of poetry, the most recent of which is Said Not Said (Graywolf Press, 2017). Earlier books include Full Moon Boat, The Looking House, Tipping Point, and House on Water, House in Air. Marchant has co-translated work by several Vietnamese poets, and edited Another World Instead: The Early Poems of William Stafford. An emeritus professor of English, he is founding director of the Suffolk University Poetry Center in Boston.