Online, Zoom • Sundays, November 7–December 12, 2021
Ekphrasis—the literary response to visual art—often takes the form of poetry, but this class will be geared toward generating narrative. Participants will receive prompts in the form of specific artworks (to be viewed online) and methods for translating the art into fiction, memoir, or other narrative forms. These exercises will be followed by analysis of published texts created in response to the same artworks. Techniques will include imagining an instance of seeing the work, imagining the life of the work’s subject or artist, letting the work trigger associations and memories, acknowledging the work’s historical context, or facing the abstract with the concrete. Visual artists used likely to include Jennifer Bartlett, Gerhard Richter, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Jacob Lawrence, Yves Klein, Frida Kahlo, Liu Xiaodong, Kerry James Marshall, or Helen Frankenthaler. Writers studied likely to include Deborah Eisenberg, Don DeLillo, John Keene, A. S. Byatt, Tyehimba Jess, John Yau, or Ali Smith.
All levels of experience are welcome. The goal is to think like a beginner, take risks, and discover new veins of subject matter or approaches to the page. New work will be shared aloud. Light reading and writing homework.
Anne Elliott is the author of The Artstars: Stories (Blue Light Books / Indiana University Press) and The Beginning of the End of the Beginning (Ploughshares Solos). Her short work has been featured in Story, Crab Orchard Review, Witness, Hobart, Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her story “Black, Black, Red, Black” appeared in A Public Space No. 28. She lives in Maine.
Sundays, November 7–December 12, 2021
3:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. ET
Online on Zoom
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