Ekphrastic writing is about creating vivid descriptions that help the reader visualize something, very commonly a work of art, but it also lifts off from what the senses detect into existential ether. Two of the most famous examples in poetry are John Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and W. H. Auden's "Musée des Beaux Arts." But the genre of writing is alive and well — it's certainly present in arts criticism — and is a mode of writing that contemporary poet and teacher Terry Blackhawk excels at. Blackhawk is the author of six collections of poetry and was the founder and executive director of Detroit's InsideOut Literary Arts Project, which from 1995 to 2015 brought poets into schools. Her collection "Escape Artist" won the 2002 John Ciardi Prize for Poetry, and her 2019 exploration of grief, "One Less River," has received critical acclaim.
Blackhawk will give a reading at Writers & Books on Thursday, October 17, at 7 p.m. followed by an ekphrastic writing workshop at W&B on Friday, October 18, at 6 p.m. And on Saturday, October 19, W&B's Gell Center in the Finger Lakes will host her for a reading, conversation, and book signing.
Thursday, October 17, through Saturday, October 19. Writers & Books, 740 University Avenue; Gell Center, 6581 West Hollow Road, Naples. Admission to the reading is $5, registration for the workshop is $75, and admission to the Gell Center event is $7. 473-2590; wab.org.