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An Ekphrastic Event for Sharing the Muse

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our event scheduled for
September 25, 2020 has been postponed until April 2021 (date tbd).

Are you interested in participating? We are accepting online poetry submissions through June 5th. Click here for more details.

The term ekphrastic means, essentially, “beautiful words for beautiful art.” Think of the popular song about “Mona Lisa” as an example. The idea for this event was developed by members the South Bend Museum of Art board of directors as a way to include writers more directly in the community of art makers here in South Bend and at the SBMA. Individuals were invited to find a muse among the art in the gallery that inspired a personal poetic vision of its meaning.

We all are poets at heart. We use language daily to tell stories and refer to poetry for many of the most important moments in our lives. So, the use of poetic language is the artistic craft with which we are very familiar. Writing about our individual experiences requires our finding our own voice since no one with a degree in creative writing can follow us around to interpret our impressions effectively for us. This being the case, we hope to encourage the creative self into being for some who are not often called to do so. You will then find some of our writers are scholarly and others are finding a writer’s voice anew. All have focused on this experience of interacting with art in the SBMA’s permanent collection and responding with expressive writing…some experienced writers are doing this for the first time.

We believe you will be impressed with their resulting works, and hope that having these poetic interpretations available as you view works in the gallery will deepen your exploration into the meaning of the art on display.

We aspire to continue the event and possibly expand opportunities for artists and writers to develop creative writing skills.

To date, 22 poets have submitted work. Enjoy a sampling of these submissions while we wait for our lives to get back to normal.