Ekphrastic Poetry | UMSL
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Ekphrastic Poetry

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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 

 We're getting a head start this year! 

Right now we are looking for any type of student artwork --- drawing, painting, photograph, etching, sculpture, etc. --- to be included in the packet of art selections we will share with participating classrooms.  In case you are new to the Art & Poetry Project, participating classrooms will receive packets of small-poster-sized photos of 12 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. Details on getting the artwork and submitting poems will come out later.  Although the school year is just beginning, keep an eye out, consult with the art teacher at your school, hit up an artistic student . . . and let us know if you have something to share! I will need a good quality photo of the artwork and permission from the student to reproduce it into a poster and then to publish it in the art and poetry book.
Please email me with any questions, comments, concerns ---- and especially artwork!
The deadline for art submissions is Wednesday, November 24