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Ekphrastic Poetry Walking Workshop with Laura McDermott

Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 2:00 pm

Various Locations

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1 day: Saturday, February 25 / 2 – 5 p.m.

“Painting is silent poetry. Poetry is eloquent painting.” – Simonides

How does art influence a piece of writing? Similarly, how does art influence you as a writer writing that piece? This poetry workshop will examine how someone else’s art can influence one’s own writing based on your interpretation of the art. Every art form is a frontier of energy and discovery for the people who inhabit it within our poems. Through vivid description of a work of art and the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the “action” of a painting or sculpture, we can amplify and expand on the original artwork’s meaning through the written word.

Participants of this walking workshop will gather in the Wynwood art district to visit its galleries, museums, and murals for an interactive writing workshop. Our rendezvous point will be at Books & Books & Bikes & Lebo (2602 NW 5 AVE, Miami, FL 33127) for introductions and a mini craft talk/lecture. We will then travel to GAB Studio (225 NW 26 ST, Miami, FL 33127), and then the famous Wynwood Walls (2520 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127). At each destination, participants will receive writing prompts in order to generate a first draft of a poem inspired by the artwork. We will hydrate at JugoFresh (2390 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127) with time for writing and more libations before heading back to our initial rendezvous point, Books & Books & Bikes & Lebo, for final discussion.

During this workshop, we will discuss poems which take their inspiration from art. Such poems that might be used are John Keats’ “Ode to a Grecian Urn,” Kevin Young’s “Cadillac Moon,” John Ashbery’s “Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror,” William Carlos Williams’ “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus,” and more to see how these poets rely on setting, place and its descriptions in order to tell a deeper story about the images in front of them. Through carefully crafted examinations of poems that showcase the importance of painting a picture onto the page as well as by observing local art, we’ll explore how poetry can show more than words can ever tell.

In addition to these close readings and critiques, some time will be dedicated to short in-class writing exercises to help each of us break out of well-worn writing routines and strategies as we engage with art in the Wynwood Art District.

2:00 – 2:30 PM
Books & Books & Bikes & Lebo (2602 NW 5 AVE, Miami, FL 33127)

2:45 – 3:30 PM
GAB Studio (225 NW 26 ST, Miami, FL 33127)

3:40 – 4:30 PM
Wynwood Walls (2520 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127),

4:30 – 4:45pm
JugoFresh (2390 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127)

4:45 – 5:00 PM
Books and Books and Bikes (2602 NW 5 AVE, Miami, FL 33127)


Laura McDermott’s first book of poetry, Vision on Alligator Alley, an ekphrastic story-in-verse, was published in 2015 by Lominy Books, and features the work she created during her tenure as the 2014-2015 Writer-in-Residence of Girls’ Club, Ft. Lauderdale. McDermott studied creative writing at Florida State University, received her M.F.A. in poetry from Florida International University, and is a tenured assistant professor of English at Broward College. She was the recipient of the 2014 Wells Fargo Endowed Teaching Chair and is currently an I-Nest Senior Instructional Designer for the college. Laura McDermott is also the founder and executive director of Orange Island Arts Foundation, a literary arts organization.



Saturday, February 25, 2017
2:00 pm


All Year