Poetry Website Engages with Visual Artworks from Kahlo to Vermeer

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The Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative, a provider of online poetry classes, offers two workshops in ekphrasis, taught by leading contemporary authors Amy King and Melissa Studdard.

The Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative: Workshops that work.
Ekphrastic poetry retells or relates to another artistic medium, such as painting or sculpture, by describing its essence or responding to its energy.

The Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative (poetrycoop.com), a provider of online poetry classes, is pleased to offer two workshops on the popular poetic form known as ekphrasis. Ekphrastic poetry retells or relates to another artistic medium, such as painting or sculpture, by describing its essence or responding to its energy. The new work can either enhance the artistic impact of the original, or take on a life of its own.

In July, Amy King, whose latest book “I Want to Make You Safe” was one of The Boston Globe’s Best Poetry Books of 2011, will teach “Apostrophes, Odes, Ekphrasis, Oh, My!” The course, beginning July 8th, will consider how ekphrasis can extend beyond mere description of the visual arts to incorporate the ode, and/or address (aka 'apostrophe'), as a means to reflect an artist's work.

Explaining the workshop's unique slant, King said: "In my own work, I have begun addressing and integrating artists whose work and lives I take cues, and clues, from. The artists and their work are not considered separately; their biographies feature as often as the work borne from their lives." King's poetry class will focus on artists associated with the Surrealists, such as Frida Kahlo, Remedios Varo, and Leonora Carrington, among others.

In December, Melissa Studdard, best-selling author and host of radio program "Tiferet Talk," leads "Ekphrastic Poetry: Dialoguing with the Greats," which will draw on masterworks by Van Gogh to Vermeer as inspiration. Studdard observes: "Many of the greatest masterpieces gracing the walls of museums and the pages of books were born from one artist’s desire to speak to another through the paintbrush or the quill."

Both workshops take place over four weeks, with lessons and poems posted and critiqued weekly in a password-protected space. The courses are archived for an additional month, for poets who wish to post revisions and continue the conversation. The asynchronous format allows poets to access the classes at their convenience, from wherever there's an internet connection and a device to receive it. While targeted to those with intermediate-to-advanced experience, the poetry website welcomes beginners and writers from other genres, too.

The Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative provides MFA-caliber online poetry workshops that promote, foster and inspire the reading and writing of poetry by (a) facilitating a cross-cultural network of information-sharing on the art of poetry, (b) providing an asynchronous education setting in which teaching artists and students exchange ideas and information at the convenience of their own schedules, from their own homes, reducing their impact on the environment, (c) encouraging peer-to-peer feedback amongst members, and (d) helping develop the voices of underserved poets by offering several free workshops each year.

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Lissa Kiernan
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