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It's Ekphrastic!

Art-based poetry at WSG

by Vickie Elmer

From the January, 2018 issue

An "ekphrasis" is a literary work on a piece of visual piece of art--think John Keats' "Ode to a Grecian Urn." But why is a January 21 poetry and visual art event at WSG Gallery called "It's Ekphrastic"?

For WSG's 16 x 16 show, which opens in January, each of the gallery's sixteen members invited an outside artist they admire. This year's guest artists are a diverse group, working in ceramics, painting, printmaking, pastels, encaustic, assemblage, fibers, and photography. When the show opens, it will grow even more artistically diverse when ten poets visit the Main St. gallery, choose a piece they find inspiring, and write a poem about it.

Local poet Jennifer Burd helped mobilize the group. Though several had previously written ekphrasis-style poems, WSG artist Connie Crononwett says that Burd questioned using such a "strange and awkward" coinage as an event title. Crononwett, a landscape artist, came up with the compromise: "It's Ekphrastic," she thought, would sound suitably exotic, exciting, and vaguely scientific. The poets will be back to read their work on January 21 (See Events).    (end of article)


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