In celebration of the long, intimate relationship between poetry and visual art, the MWPA and Portland Museum of Art proudly announce ARTWORD 2018: Ekphrasis at the PMA.

We invite Maine writers of all poetry styles and levels of experience to submit ekphrastic work inspired by art in the PMA. Authors of selected poems will read them at the museum on Friday, April 13, 2018 in an auditorium program and in the galleries beside the work that inspired them.

Ekphrastic poems respond to—address, confront, inhabit—works of visual art. From Rilke to Elizabeth Bishop to Tyehimba Jess, poets have engaged paintings, prints, sculptures, and photographs in ways that offer 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

  • 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  • Submit up to three previously unpublished poems (no more than six pages total) as a single Word or PDF document via MWPA’s Submittable by clicking HERE.  (*Submissions must be made via Submittable. 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, 2017 

ARTWORD is sponsored by