In celebration of the long, intimate relationship between poetry and visual art, the Portland Museum of Art, the Beloit Poetry Journal, and the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance proudly announce ARTWORD: Ekphrasis at the PMA.

Maine writers of all poetry styles and levels of experience are invited to submit ekphrastic work inspired by art in the Portland Museum of Art. Authors of selected poems will be invited read at the museum during Free Fridays in April 2017 (National Poetry Month). All submissions will be considered for publication in the Beloit Poetry Journal.

Ekphrastic poems respond to—address, confront, inhabit—works of visual art. From Rilke to Elizabeth Bishop to Tyehimba Jess, the poet who engages a painting, photograph, or sculpture in this imaginative and dynamic way offers readers what Alfred Corn has called “a grounded instance of seeing.” The best ekphrasis, then, illuminates what the eye may not detect in the original. When poem and artwork are in conversation, each shines in the other’s light.


Submission Guidelines

  • ARTWORD is open to all poets who live in Maine.
  • Poets should focus their primary attention on works currently on view in the museum (not those included in temporary special exhibits), though poems in response to any work in the permanent collection will be considered. Half-price admission is available for those who identify themselves as poets working on ARTWORD. In addition, the entire PMA collection is viewable online HERE.
  • Submit up to three previously unpublished poems (no more than six pages total) as a single Word or PDF document via MWPA’s Submittable by clicking HERE.  (*If you do not have a Submittable account, you will be required to register, which is free and only requires your name and email.)
  • Below the title of each poem, please note the artist and title of the work that inspired the poem.
  • Your name and contact information (email and phone) should appear on every page.
  • Include a short biography with your cover letter.
  • Deadline December 31, 2016  January 15, 2017

ARTWORD is sponsored by

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