Beyond Ekphrasis: Poetry & Visual Art Studio

Beyond Ekphrasis: Poetry & Visual Art Studio

Push beyond descriptive writing to explore alternative techniques to engaging with visual art in your poetry.

The Poetry Foundation defines an ekphrastic poem as ‘a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art’; famous instances include Keats’s Grecian Urn and Achilles’s shield in Homer’s rendering. However, defining ekphrasis in terms of description often privileges metaphor, leaving other levels of poetic language unexplored. In this studio, we will take other approaches to writing in dialogue between poetry and visual art, pushing your work to exciting new places.

We will consider ideas of poetic language as ‘painterly’ and the language of art as prosodic, poems as art criticism, objet trouvé poetry, lyric abstraction, elegies for artists, and many other approaches to this varied topic. We’ll consider work by the likes of Jorie Graham, Aloysius Bertrand, Thomas A. Clark, Terrance Hayes, Barbara Guest, and Lucy Mercer, amongst others.

Join us on this fast-paced, practical course to explore the many ways beyond mere description that poetry and the visual arts can engage with, reflect on and may even mutually transform one another.

Studios are 4 week intensive courses. Reading material will be distributed before the course begins. There are no live chats so they are suitable for both UK & International students. 

For more information visit our Online Courses page.

(Image credit: Nick Collins

About Sam Buchan-Watts View Profile

Sam Buchan-Watts is the author of Faber New Poets 15 and co-editor, with Lavinia Singer, of Try To Be Better (Prototype, 2019), a creative-critical engagement with W. S. Graham and ‘an open invitation to think variously with and through the responsibilities of responsive reading’ (Kate Briggs). He is the recipient of an Eric Gregory Award (2016) and a Northern Writers’ Award for Poetry (2019). In 2018 he undertook an AHRC fellowship at the Yale Center for British Art. A pamphlet, Cloud Study, is published by If a Glyph Falls.

‘It’s difficult to connect with quality poetry classes where I live, and I welcome the creativity and breadth of offering that PS offers.’

– Summer 2019 survey response

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