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An Ekphrastic Event for Sharing the Muse

Now accepting submissions for 2021 event to be held on June 25th! Submission deadline is May 7, 2021.

An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the “action” of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning.

The idea for this event was developed by members of the South Bend Museum of Art board of directors as a way to include area writers more directly in the community of art makers here in Michiana and at the SBMA. Individuals are invited to find a muse among the artworks in the museum that inspires a personal poetic vision of its meaning. All submitted poems are reviewed and a number of works are chosen to be published in a chapbook. The selected poets are invited to attend our annual event held in the Carmichael Gallery and read their poem in person. 

We are all poets at heart. We use language daily to tell stories and refer to poetry for many important moments in our lives. Writing about our individual experiences requires us to find our own voice. We hope to encourage the creative self into being for some who are not often called to do so. You will find some of the writers are scholarly and others are finding a writer’s voice for the first time. All have focussed on this experience of interacting with the artworks in the museum’s collection and responding with expressive writing.

If you would like to participate please visit the South Bend Museum of Art, take a stroll through the Rotunda, Carmichael Gallery, and Sculpture Corridor and write a poem in response to a work of art that inspires you. Poetry forms are available at the museum or you can email your poem to bowmanb@southbendart.org. Please include your name, email address, title and artist of the artwork you are writing about.

Due to Covid-19 we decided not to hold our event in 2020. Instead we asked poets to record themselves reading their works and we created these videos for everyone to view from home. Enjoy!