“Writing poems in response to art—painting, sculpture, photography, music, dance, film—offers us deep and abiding pleasure,” says instructor Kathleen McClung. “Aligning imaginatively with other forms of creative expression builds bridges across the arts and across art-makers. We expand our writing skills as we braid the images, sounds, and motions of other arts with the words, rhythms, and shapes of our poems.”
In this 3-hour workshop, students will experiment with drafting and sharing their own ekphrastic poems. Class time will also be spent reading and discussing a variety of contemporary ekphrastic poems, with a focus on those that enthrall even readers who are unfamiliar with the poet’s original source. Kathleen will provide an array of works to help spark new poems. Students are also encouraged to bring a beloved work of art.
By the end of the day students will have a fuller sense of how an ekphrastic poem multiplies beauty and how to craft their own unique poetic responses to art.
Kathleen McClung is the author of three poetry collections: Temporary Kin, The Typists Play Monopoly, and Almost the Rowboat. Her work appears widely in journals and anthologies including Southwest Review, Naugatuck River Review, Mezzo Cammin, The MacGuffin, Forgotten Women, Sanctuary, Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, and elsewhere. Winner of the Rita Dove, Morton Marr, Shirley McClure, and Maria W. Faust national poetry prizes, she is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee. Associate director of the Soul-Making Keats literary competition, she has mentored hundreds of writers at Skyline College, The Writing Salon, and other colleges and has taught/advised student teachers in the credential program at Mills College. For ten years she has directed Women on Writing: WOW Voices Now on the Skyline campus.
- Saturday, April 25, 2:00pm-5:00pm
Currently I do readings and take any poetry class that Kathleen teaches. I learned to give and receive feedback in Kathleen's class, which allowed me to feel safe reading my work to strangers. In giving feedback I found that focusing on the strengths in a piece was the best place to start and that noting where I felt confused or disconnected often helped the writer tighten the work. Receiving feedback, I found that simply listening and recording the comments, without justifying or explaining, works the best.
I really like Kathleen's teaching style. She's a great communicator, and is supportive and constructive in her instruction. All of us in this class benefit from her breadth of knowledge about poetry. As a new poet, I have gained a new understanding of poetry through exposure to many different styles; and while daunting, the confidence to submit my poems.