Description of Class
How do writing and image portray reality differently? Can image and text ever serve the same purpose?
This six-week course, taught by David Welch, will instruct writers in ways poems describe, interpret, or interact with works of art. Through the practice of ekphrasis, writers will learn to use words to show an experience. Both poets and prose writers are welcome and encouraged in this course.
(Some of you may already be asking: What is “ekphrasis?” An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the “action” of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning.)
Our readings will include historical and contemporary verse. We will explore elements of imagery, form, and story. These elements may be modified for personal and instructional use. Writers will gain insight into how traditional and contemporary poets are using ekphrasis. Poetic resources will be provided.
Week 1: Background and Approach to Ekphrasis. We will examine elements of writing to gain tools and perspective to discuss and create our own compositions.
Week 2: Ekphrastic Writing. We will explore historical and contemporary responses to painting and art and attempt our responses.
Week 3: New Ekphrasis. Moving away from traditional approaches, we will examine at moving images and write our own poetic responses.
Week 4: Ekphrasis in Our Lives. We will explore artwork that can teach us about socio-political moments and inspire our poetic composition.
Week 5: Revising for Elements. We will spend time discussing ways to revise and strengthen writing you have already completed during the course.
Week 6: Review & Reading. We’ll focus on your project and the direction it is taking. We will share the work we’ve done during the course.
“Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” by William Carlos Williams
“Four Temperaments and the Forms of Poetry” by Gregory Orr
“The 8’OClock Movie” by Tino Villanueva
“Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
“The Scream” by Edvard Munch