Monthly Archives: July 2011

Ekphrasis Workshop in Park Rapids, MN

It’s official–I will be offering a 4-week workshop on Ekphrasis–writing poetry inspired by visual art–beginning August 31 at the Nemeth Art Center in Park Rapids, MN.  I hope you can participate!   I am very excited about getting to spend time with the gorgeous 15th and 16th century masterworks at the museum, and to hear what the class participants write about them.  The class members will also have a special opportunity to read their poems for an audience (optional )  during Art Leap on Sept. 24, and to have their poems posted in the art center.

Here are the details:

The Art of Ekphrastic Poetry—A Writers’ Workshop

Ekphrastic Poetry is poetry written about or in response to other forms of art, usually visual art. In this workshop, we will explore Exphrasis—reading Ekphrasitic poems by well-known and not-so-well-known poets, and trying our own writing in this genre.  All the while, we will be surrounded by Old Masters’ paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries and Nigerian art and artifacts, as well as more modern works.  We will take some of our inspiration from these works, and some from the participants’ favorite artwork from outside the museum.  The emphasis will be on generating new poems and bringing them  to the group for sharing, discussion and gentle critique.  The class will culminate with a reading (optional) on Sept. 24, 2:30-4 pm at the Nemeth Art Center, as part of Park Rapids’ annual Art Leap event, and some poems may be hung next to the artwork that inspired the poem.

Dates and times:  Wednesday evenings, 6:30-8 at Nemeth Art Center, August 31, Sept 7, 14 & 21, with optional reading Sept. 24, 2:30-4 pm

Where: Nemeth Art Center (formerly North Country Museum of Arts), 301 Court Street, Park Rapids, MN

Cost: $80  (contact me if in need of a scholarship)

 Who: older  teens (17 and up) and adults

To RegisterCall the Nemeth Art Center at 218-237-5900, or email Kelly  at

Registration Deadline: August 21.  We must get at least 5 participants to offer this class.

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Article on the Short Poem

My article on the short poem is up at The Loft Literary Center’s Writers’ BlockCheck it out!


Quote for the week:  A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses. ~Chinese Proverb

(thanks, Anita Marocco).

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Welcome to the new,  improved!  It will get your whites whiter, your teeth brighter, and keep you up on all the happenings with my poetry and poetry teaching.

Well…one of those, anyway.

It’s been a bit of a writing dry spell for me the past couple of years.  Lots of writers talk about the “post-first-book slump”, and I’ve been in it.  There’s something about having that finished object in your hand that makes you wonder “How did I do that?  Can I ever do it again?”  I think the mistake is that suddenly you’re thinking about a manuscript instead of just thinking about each poem as it comes. That’s how it was working for me, until I figured out that’s what I was doing.  So now, I’m taking it one poem at a time and reminding myself that the first book happened just that way. After all, I write poems, not books.  If those poems end up becoming  books, great, but if not, I still want to write them,  revise them, and be illuminated and uplifted by the whole process.

Teaching-wise, I’m very excited to have led a session at The Loft’s Teen Writers’ Conference on June 18.  I’ve also had my proposal accepted to offer an online class through The Loft for the fall called “Compression and Concision: Writing the Short Poem.” More information and registration instructions can be found HERE.

I’ll be blogging on the idea of the short poem on the Loft’s Writer’s Block  blog on July 15.  check it out!

My review of Deborah Digges’ posthumous poetry collection The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart is online at HerCircle Ezine.

In other summer news, I’ll be participating in the Y Steak House (Park Rapids, MN) “Sunday Classics” series. Kate Kysar and I will be cocktailing, dining with and reading to all of the North Country’s glitterati. Tickets and more info are available by calling 218-732-4565.

Plans are also in the works for a 3-week workshop at The Nemeth Art Center in Park Rapids, MN (formerly North Country Museum of Arts), culminating in a reading and reception at the Art Center during Park Rapids’ Art Leap on September 24.

Quote of the week:

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?”
— Rumi

Check back for updates!

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