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Title: Making Art from Art: Mastering Ekphrastic Poetry
Time: Saturday, March 20, 2020 @ 1-4pm PST
To register, email [email protected]
For more information, visit our Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/702345690456795/
About the Workshop:
Using a rhetorical device known as ekphrasis, the poet engages with a painting, drawing, sculpture, music, or other form of art in hopes of expanding on its meaning. Ekphrastic poets analyze the original artwork, explore symbolic meanings, invent stories, and even create dialog and dramatic scenes. The artwork will often lead the poet to new insights and surprising discoveries about the very nature of artistic creation and conversation.
In this intensive generative workshop, we will explore the many facets of ekphrasis through poetry/art/song analysis, active discussion, and a progressively challenging set of writing activities that create and foster conversation among multiple art forms.
We will study diverse ekphrastic poems from Anne Sexton, Edward Hirsch, Valerie Martinez, Blas Falconer, Carmen Gimenez Smith, Laurie Ann Guerrero, Gina Williams, and Ocean Vuong to see how they successfully explore fresh, unexpected methods of artistic translation and conversation.
Writers are people who read, write, and rewrite. They know the rules. They know how—and when!—to break them. We’ll practice The Writing Life together during this online workshop. We’ll encourage each other’s writing dreams to take shape on the page.
How it works: In this workshop class we will meet four times in April for 1.5 hours. We will read and discuss poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction written by young writers. Lauren Mallett (she/her/hers), the instructor, will offer a framework for talking about the craft of each piece. We will use this framework to better understand how writing moves our hearts, minds, and bodies.
Each writer will have the option to share their own writing during each session. We will respond with claps, snaps, kudos, and/or details, depending on the writer’s feedback preferences.
Each session will feature reading, writing, revision, and celebration. Lauren will share links and resources for further exploration, as well as answer questions regarding revision, publication, and writing opportunities.
Who is the Instructor?
Lauren Mallett’s (she/her/hers) poems appear or are forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Salamander, RHINO, Fugue, Passages North, and other journals. She has taught for the Reynolds Young Writers Workshop since 2008. Lauren taught dual-language immersion fifth grade in Richmond, CA from 2010-2013. She earned her MFA and was the Assistant Director of Creative Writing at Purdue University. She is a 2016 and 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee. Lauren lives on Oregon’s north coast, on the traditional homelands of the Clatsop people. Her current obsessions are banana slugs and fly amanita mushrooms. She believes that deep listening and trust are the encouragement we all need to tell our stories.
When is this class offered?
This class is offered virtually and meets from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. EST on four Wednesdays in April: 4/7, 4/14, 4/21, and 4/28. It is open to writers ages 11-18 who are interested in writing and learning more about creative writing. The class is capped at 12 students and registration closes one week prior to the start of class. Three scholarships are available for BIPOC, Queer, and/or Trans writers (please contact Lauren at mallett [dot] lauren [at] gmail [dot] com for scholarship enrollment details). Tuition includes the option to meet with Lauren for a 30-minute, one-on-one conference via Zoom or phone during the first and/or last week of the workshop.
Poems to Get Us Through: The Best of Pandemic Poetry
Throughout the atrocities, hardships, and loss of 2020, many poets did what they do best: they wrote about what it was like to be alive. We’ll spend 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. PST together, marveling at pandemic poems written by Ada Limón, Jericho Brown, Dana Levin, Erika L. Sánchez, and Marcus Wicker. We’ll discuss how these poems move our bodies, hearts, and minds. We’ll also try on some 2020-themed writing of our own. No previous poetry experience is necessary. An openness to the power of language, however, is essential.
Lauren Mallett (she/her/hers) is a poet, teacher, doula, and mushroom forager. She has lived and studied in Guanajuato and Xalapa, Mexico. Lauren taught dual-language immersion fifth grade in Richmond, California. She earned her MFA and was the Assistant Director of Creative Writing at Purdue University. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Salamander, Passages North, Fugue, Tupelo Quarterly, and other journals. Lauren is a 2016 and 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee. She has taught for the Indiana Writers Center Summer Learning Programs, the Lafayette Writers’ Studio, and the Reynolds Young Writers Workshop. She lives on Oregon’s north coast, on the tribal lands of the Clatsop people.
This year the Mid-Valley Poetry Society’s spring Poetry in Performance program will be a Zoom event, held Sunday, April 25, from 2 to 4 p.m. It will focus on the theme “Healing Fractures” and will feature presentations by Salem painter and writer Cynthia Herron and singer-songwriter Kristen Grainger of the folk-bluegrass group True North.
In anticipation of this program, the MVPS is inviting poets to write poems in response to a visual work, “Low Field with Mended Oak Leaf,” by Cynthia Herron and/or a song, “The Ghost of Abuelito,” by Kristen Grainger. (Abuelito is Spanish for grandpa or granddad – an affectionate variant of abuelo/grandfather.) Then attend the April 25th event and perform the poems during the open mic segment of the program.
Three images of Herron’s work are attached – one showing the entire painting and two showing details of different areas. What the images on a flat screen can’t show: It’s 24” W x 20” H and nearly two inches thick; the niche in the center is six inches square and about an inch and a half deep.
To hear Grainger’s song in a performance with the True North band, enter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awdcRGNcOzA in your web browser.
These two works, the visual piece and the song, inspired the idea of a Poetry in Performance program on the theme of “Healing Fractures.” We hope that one or both will inspire you to write a poem in response and that you will share the poem(s) during the open mic segment of the April 25th program.
Please share this call with other poets you know. More information on the entire program will follow soon.