Ekphrastic Poetry | UMSL

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Ekphrastic Poetry


Because GWP values the voice of St. Louis area youth, we create collaborative writing opportunities. 

The St. Louis Ekphrastic Poetry Project began as part of our celebration of National Poetry Month and has evolved into a collaborative project where St. Louis area artists provide artwork as a focus for writing ekphrastic poetry.

An ekphrastic poem focuses on a work of art --- in our project, paintings and drawings --- and the poet's reaction to it. The writing might include vivid description, an interpretation of the piece, an inhabiting of the piece, a memory incited by the piece, a conversation with an animate or inanimate object in the piece, a comparison/contrast to another piece, a real or imagined account of what others viewing the piece are thinking, etc. The poet can focus on the entire piece, or just on one (or more) part, or aspect, of the piece. The writing can be complimentary and glowing --- or critical and suggestive of improvement. Creativity and individual thinking and writing reign. Any style of poem is fine.

2021 - 22 Project Information 


In case you are new to the Art & Poetry Project, participating classrooms will receive packets of small-postcards of different pieces of artwork to inspire students to write a poem/poems based on one or more of the pieces of the art. The art and poetry then will be compiled and published in a book, along with poems written by students throughout the greater St. Louis area.

Request postcards for submission

Please email Cathy O'Brien with any questions, comments, concerns