Since the time of Homer poets have been in conversation with visual art and sculpture. But how does a poem translate a painting? How can the experience of ‘space’ in a painting, or the physical presence of a sculpture, be represented in writing? How does a poem tap into the narrative potential of a visual image, and how can you, as a poet, use visual art to access, and connect with, your own life stories? These are just some of the questions raised by ekphrasis, the “verbal representation of visual representation.” On the Saturday of our weekend we will look at some of the problems and possibilities that ekphrasis raises for poets, examine some of the different ways poets have engaged the visual arts, and generate our own poems in response to art works and artifacts. Sunday will be devoted to discussing and workshopping the poems that have come out of your own conversation/s with visual art. The instructor will provide all materials and a series of ‘prompts’ to help you begin/step into the paintings, should you need such a springboard. The class welcomes poets of all levels.
Jude Nutter was born in North Yorkshire, England, and grew up near Hannover in northern Germany. Her poems have appeared in numerous national and international journals and have received over 40 awards and grants. Her first book-length collection, Pictures of the Afterlife (Salmon Poetry, Ireland), winner of the Irish Listowel Prize, was published in 2002. The Curator of Silence (University of Notre Dame Press), her second collection, won the Ernest Sandeen Prize from the University of Notre Dame and was awarded the 2007 Minnesota Book Award in poetry. A third collection, I Wish I Had a Heart Like Yours, Walt Whitman (University of Notre Dame Press), was awarded the 2010 Minnesota Book Award in poetry and voted Poetry Book of the Year by ForeWord Review in New York. In 2004-2005 she spent two months in Antarctica as part of the National Science Foundation’s Writers and Artists Program.