Contemporary Ekphrasis: A Poetry Workshop with Jeff Alessandrelli and Michael Earl Craig

Jenny Holzer.jpg
Jenny Holzer.jpg

Contemporary Ekphrasis: A Poetry Workshop with Jeff Alessandrelli and Michael Earl Craig

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Contemporary Ekphrasis: A Poetry Workshop with Jeff Alessandrelli and Michael Earl Craig

Thursday, Sept. 22
12:30 p.m. – 3:00 pm
Missoula Public Library – Large Meeting Room

*Image by Jenny Holzer

 

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In ancient Greek the word ekphrasis literally meant “description” and ekphrastic poetry has commonly been defined as a poetry intent on vividly describing works of art. Pieter Brueghel’s famous painting “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” has been ekphrastically described by poets as varied as William Carlos Williams, W.H. Auden, Michael Hamburger, Edward Field, Dannie Abse and Joseph Langland, among others. Turning the term on its head, visual artists such as Glenn Ligon and Jenny Holzer largely use language in their art in the same way that poets use images. Their work is more linguistic than visual and both Ligon and Holzer utilize public platforms to display the end product. Focusing on contemporary examples of ekphrastic poetry and ekphrastic art, this workshop will discuss what ekphrasis can mean to our current Internet-based, multi-media society. During the class we will read poems and study works of art, and also write some of our own ekphrastically-based poetry.  

Jeff Alessandrelli is the author of the full-length collection This Last Time Will Be the First (Burnside Review) and the little book Erik Satie Watusies His Way Into Sound (Ravenna). Other work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, The American Poetry Review, Boston Review and four chapbooks. The name of Jeff’s chapbook press is Dikembe Press and the name of his vinyl-record only poetry press is Fonograf Editions. He’s currently also a staff blogger for The Kenyon Review.

Michael Earl Craig is the author of Talkativeness (Wave Books, 2014), Thin Kimono (Wave Books, 2010), Yes, Master (Fence Books, 2006), Can You Relax in My House (Fence Books, 2002), and the chapbook Jombang Jet (Factory Hollow Press, 2012). He lives in the Shields Valley, near Livingston, Montana, and is the 2015-2017 Poet Laureate of Montana.