Exploring Ekphrasis

Visual Arts Meet Poetry

Use Visual Art For Your Poetic Creativity!

Let one genre inspire the other

Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, museums from all over the world have made their collections available for online viewing. In this class, we will write ekphrastic poems (poems inspired by visual art) in response to these vast collections of art, observing paintings, photography, and sculpture, in close detail. We will study and discuss ekphrastic poems by Anne Sexton, John Keats, W.H. Auden, William Carlos Williams, John Stone and others, understanding how these poets’ work is a starting place for our own. Each week, we’ll study the work of a different poet and the artwork they write about, sharing our insights with the class. As part of a writing community, we’ll comment constructively on each other’s work, giving and receiving feedback in a respectful manner. By the end of the course, students will have twelve drafts or completed poems, one for each week, and an appreciation for ekphrasis as an inspiration for poetic creativity.

List of goals for the class:

  • Become aware of all the art available for viewing.
  • Study ekphrasis as a sub-genre of poetry.
  • Close read ekphrastic poems.
  • Experiment with writing your own ekphrastic poems.
  • Leave with 12 completed poems or drafts of ekphrastic poems!
  • Be inspired to continue your own exploration of ekphrastic poetry, both reading and writing.


13 Tuesdays: Sept 7, 14, 21, 28; Oct 5, 12, 19, 26; Nov 2, 9, 16, 30 (no class Nov 23); Dec 7-Class Reading

6-7:30 PM Pacific

Wordcrafters Online Zoom Studio.

Members $299 | Nonmembers $349


Members save 10% on this class and every class. Want to know more about membership? Click here.

Classes will feature in-class and out of class writing and readings, sharing work, and commenting on others’ writing.

About the Instructor

Erica Goss served as Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, CA from 2013-2016. In 2019, she won the Zocalo Poetry Prize. She is the author of Night Court, winner of the 2016 Lyrebird Award, Wild Place, and Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets. Recent work appears in Lake Effect, Atticus Review, Contrary, Convergence, Spillway, Cider Press Review, Eclectica, The Tishman Review, Tinderbox, The Red Wheelbarrow, and Main Street Rag, among others. She is the founder of Girls’ Voices Matter, an arts education program for teen girls. Erica is the editor of Sticks & Stones, a monthly poetry newsletter. Please visit her at www.ericagoss.com.

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