Monthly Archives: March 2014

It’s really happening!

litany 3 bowlsAfter two years, and much planning, dreaming, and work, Reassurances: Incantation Bowls, Reimagined is getting ready for its debut.  We are pretty sure (contracts in the works) that the collection will be exhibited in Pennsylvania in October of this year. It is truly amazing to think back to the inception of this crazy idea (read more here and here) and to realize that Tiffany Besonen and I have actually made it happen, with the help of the Minnesota State Arts Board, Region 2 Arts Council, and a number of individuals, most notably Jennifer Heath, who was there when we had the idea, helped us talk it out,  and has supported it all along.  Jill Odegaard  is doing the same now, helping us finalize all the moving parts, and helping us imagine new moving parts.

The bowls pictured are smaller, more fragile ones, each with one line of a poem called “Litany”–a list of my wishes, for myself and for the world. The small bowls are as beautiful as the big ones, and their fragility echoes the fragility of my hopes.  Both require careful handling.

I am continually amazed at the way Tiffany’s visual images enhance and expand my understanding and appreciation of my own words.  Writing poetry is such a mystical process, and writing these incantations has been even more so.  Listening to Tiffany’s process of thinking, and seeing how her imagery has evolved–now crow and fox are emerging as themes, with all their mythical, metaphorical and symbolic richness–has made my own process deeper and more meaningful.  This is the beauty of collaboration.  The work of the collaborators intertwines and informs itself and becomes something wholly different than the component parts alone.

Stay tuned for more definite news, and thanks for being interested.

LouAnn Muhm is the recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota State Legislature from the State’s arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.

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Poetry Inspired by Art (online class)

Just a quick note to say that I will once again be teaching the 8-week, online course “Poetry Inspired by Art” through The Loft Literary Center.   Here’s a description, and a link to register.  Love to see you there!

Poetry Inspired by Art


Location: Online

Ages: Adult

Reg $312.00 | Mem $280.80 | Low inc. $312.00

Looking for inspiration for your poetry? This is the class for you! Poets from John Keats to Rita Dove have written poems responding to art. The formal name for this kind of poetry is Ekphrasis. In this class, the emphasis will be on generating new poems. Each week, prompts from various genres of art will be provided. No special knowledge of art is required—students will write whatever the prompt inspires them to write, whether in direct response to the artwork, or in response to their own ideas and experiences brought up by the artwork. Students will generate from 8-16 new poems, give and receive feedback on the first drafts, and get a start on revising.

No class the week of July 4.

Enter Early Bird Promo Code EBSUOL1403 by May 15, 2014 and receive $20 off the regular and member class price. Promo codes only valid for online registrations.

Register here: (link at the bottom of the page)

About the Teaching Artist(s)

LouAnn Shepard Muhm is a poet and teacher from northern Minnesota. Her poems have appeared in Dust & Fire, The Talking Stick, North Coast Review, Alba, Red River Review, Eclectica, qarrtsiluni, and CALYX, and she was a finalist for the Creekwalker Poetry Prize (2007) and the Late Blooms Postcard Series (2007). Muhm was a recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant in Poetry in 2006 and 2012, and has been featured twice in the What Light poetry series on, sponsored by the McKnight Foundation and the Walker Art Museum. Her chapbook, Dear Immovable, was published in 2006 by Pudding House Press, and her full-length poetry collection Breaking the Glass (Loonfeather Press, 2008) was a finalist for the Midwest Book Award in Poetry.

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