Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Home School and a Summer Poetry Project: Self-Ekphrasis

86º ~ dew point at 70º ~ getting swampy out there, mixed bag of clouds and sun, strong breezes, storms to the north and grass in need of mowing

Summer 2016: The Grand Adventure Awaits

In August, I will have the privilege of attending The Home School in Hudson, New York. No, I'm not going to be learning how to home school my non-existent children. The Home School is a week-long poetry workshop held in Hudson, NY, in August and in other locations in January, most recently in Miami. For a solid week, I will be studying with five of the following faculty members, although I haven't received my specific assignment yet.

Cynthia Cruz
Adam Fitzgerald
Douglas Kearney
Myung Mi Kim
Harryette Mullen
Dorothea Lasky
Geoffrey G. O'Brien
Ann Lauterbach
Rebecca Wolff
Kate Durbin
John Ashbery

At the start, I will be assigned to a workshop group, and that group will stay together for the entire week, with a new faculty member each day. Each evening, there will be readings by core and visiting faculty.

Uhm...somebody wake me up; I still don't quite believe this is happening.

I first heard about The Home School about a year ago, and I was drawn to it for its promise of bringing together an eclectic group of poets and artists to explore poetry's place alongside and among other arts. As many of you know, I also work in collage, so this workshop is a perfect fit. I must also say that this group doesn't pay lip service to being inclusive; it lives and breathes diversity, something I cherish and attempt to actively cultivate.

Needless to say, I am thrilled to be taking this journey, in part because I am still searching for whatever is coming next for my poetry. In fact, thinking about The Home School's focus on ekphrasis has led me to my Summer Poetry Project: Self-Exphrasis.

For the first time in my life, I've got a plan. In other words, I'm not simply sitting and writing and discovering. Instead, I'm going to sit, collage, write, and discover. My plan is to create at least 20 collages and at least 20 corresponding poems. Instead of approaching ekphrastic poems by looking at the art of others, I am going to look at art of my own. Instead of making collages inspired by poems, I'm going to make poems inspired by collages. While I've often felt that my writing and my collaging informed each other, I've never taken it to this level of direct involvement.

My hope is that by sifting through my huge backlog of clipped images and letting myself be drawn by instinct, without forethought, to certain groupings I will discover a new poetic obsession.

Hopes and plans. I take them with the proverbial grain of salt.


Kristin said...

Sounds cool--I'm hoping you'll give us progress reports as the summer rolls along.

Sandy Longhorn said...

K. My plan is to blog much more regularly. Hold me to it!