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Ekphrasis: Writing Inspired by Art with Suzanne Parker via Zoom

December 11, 2021 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm


Many writers wish they could pick up a paint brush and paint. Many painters express a desire to write. Ekphrastic poetry is part of a long tradition of writing in response to a work of art. From Homer’s elaborate description of Achille’s shield to today’s poets engaging with contemporary art forms like installation and video art, the ekphrastic poem questions, responds to, incorporates, embellishes, and is in dialogue with a specific work of art. The beauty of ekphrastic poetry is how it is a conversation between two artists, and writing ekphrastic poems is an exciting way to move outside the self and engage in a deep exploration of observation and response. In our workshop, we will read and discuss model poems, explore the different strategies of the ekphrastic poem, compose our own poems, and workshop them. I’ll also send everyone home with some poems and prompts so you can keep playing with and discovering the opportunities that reside in the form. Note: Prose writers! The practice of the form is a great one that crosses genre. All writing improves as we deepen our ability to observe and build out from that place of observation, so come join our conversation too.

NB: This class will be taught on Zoom. It will be capped at 15. Please read our policies page before signing up for a class. You will receive a zoom link when you register; check your spam.

Suzanne Parker is a poet, non-fiction writer, editor, and writing teacher/coach. Her chapbook, Feed, was a winner of the Sunken Gardens Poetry Chapbook Award and was published in summer 2016 by Tupelo Press. Her poetry collection, Viral, was a winner of the Kinereth Gensler Book Award and was published by Alice James Books in Sept. 2013. A sequence of poems from the book was published in Hunger Mountain and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Viral was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Poetry and was also included on the American Library Association’s Rainbow List of recommended books of 2013. She is a winner of the Alice M. Sellars Award from the Academy of American Poets and was a Poetry Fellow at the Prague Summer Seminars. Suzanne’s creative non-fiction is published in the travel anthology Something to Declare: Good Lesbian Travel Writing by the Univ. of Wisconsin Press. Suzanne serves on the editorial board of Alice James Books. She directs the creative writing program at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, NJ, and is a part of the MFA faculty at Manhattanville College in NY.

About Viral, Suzanne has said: “The book focuses on homophobia, technology, and bullying as realized through the tragedy of the suicide of Tyler Clementi, the gay Rutger’s University student who took his own life after having his privacy violated by his roommate. I very much want this book to start conversations and reach an audience that needs to know they are not alone. I’ve traveled across the US to give readings from and discuss the book in colleges, community centers, high schools, and more, as well as visited with book clubs and given radio and tv interviews in the hope that it will reach those in need. I want this book to be much more than a collection of poetry. Many have spoken with me about how it has reflected their own or their child’s or friend’s experiences of otherness and bullying. I hope that the book helps to let people start to talk and share and support one another in their experiences.”


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December 11, 2021
12:30 pm - 4:30 pm
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Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States