The Ekphrastic Review editor Lorette C. Luzajic and editor of Best Microfiction Anthology Series Meg Pokrass are joining forces to teach a five day ekphrastic flash workshop in August.
Click here for details.
The workshop is now full! You can still email your interest to Meg so we can keep you informed.
Click here or on image above to learn more or participate in the current ekphrastic writing challenge.
South Carolina Morning, by Jean L. Kreiling
Poet Jean L. Kreiling tries on Hopper's red dress.
White Flag, by Alexis Rhone Fancher
Alexis Rhone Fancher travels back in time with her photographer's eye.
Ekphrastic Writing Responses on Nighthawks, by Edward Hopper
One of our most popular challenges ever.
In a Western Motel, by Nan Wigington
Flash fiction on Hopper by one of our first place contest winners.
Reflecting on Loneliness, by Lorette C. Luzajic
An essay by yours truly on solitude, loneliness, and being an introvert in an extroverted world.
The Honey Hour, by Heloise Jones
Flash fiction on the painter's Cape Cod Morning.
The Paintings of Edward Hopper, by Michael Harmon
Poet Michael Harmon on a number of works.
Two Old Men and the Sea, by Lorette C. Luzajic
Another essay by yours truly on Hopper and Turner, too.
The House By the Railroad, by Mark A. Murphy
Poet Mark A. Murphy visits the infamous haunted Hopper house.
Send us your favourites from our archive for Throwback Thursday!
There are six years worth of writing at The Ekphrastic Review. With daily or more posts of poetry, fiction, and prose for most of that history, we have a wealth of talent to show off. We encourage readers to explore our archives by month and year in the sidebar. Click on a random selection and read through our history.
Our Throwback Thursday features writing from our past, chosen on purpose or chosen randomly. Discover past contributors, work you missed, or responses to older ekphrastic challenges.
Would you like to be a guest editor for a Throwback Thursday? Pick up to 10 favourite or random posts from the archives of The Ekphrastic Review. Use the format you see above: title, name of author, a sentence or two about your choice, and the link. Include a bio and if you wish, a note to readers about the Review, your relationship to the journal, ekphrastic writing in general, or any other relevant subject. Put THROWBACK THURSDAYS in the subject line and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let's have some fun with this- along with your picks, send a vintage photo of yourself too!
Edward Weston, Shell (13S), 1927
Here is the curvature of the world.
Slipping a hand into this porcelain moment,
through the eye of that opening
with its knife-edge strata folded
like the anticline exposed in a roadcut,
fingertips register a change in temperature.
The gray interior is cool
like an ocean cave at low tide.
You hear the skittering of crabs
and the slap of fish on water
and something else retreating
farther into the darker chambers.
Your hand's shadow slides across the
slick central column and you remember
a woman's thigh rising from black sheets
in a back room, you remember
the arc of a man's arm reaching upward
between sunflecked waves.
Inside the shell is pearlsmooth
like the wet lining of a mouth,
and you curl your hand
like a tongue against a cheek.
Outside, tracing your thumb
along the pinnacle is like
testing the sharpness of a blade.
You will bleed
seawater from a gill-like slit,
silver nitrate from a papercut.
There is convex to this concave,
surface to this depth:
the disappearing curl of the outer shell
rounds the spiraled shaft like a cresting wave
encircling the trunk of a cypress,
like mist swirling around a unicorn's horn.
Your other hand reaches out
to cup the swell, discovering
in the rippled pattern
a dry texture of sculpted sandstone.
Now, you think, I possess.
There is the distant click
of the shutter, but the photograph will not
hold your image
holding the image
of the shell,
its unseen images.
Yet always you are there,
one hand cradling, one hand penetrating,
the body of a woman
the body of a man
like a musical instrument
or a message in twists of light
or the sound of the ocean retreating into
the chambers of your ear.
The image possesses you
long after the flash fades
and the shell
begins its slow roll off the pedestal,
carrying with it your own body
painted on the cave wall, drawn
in the patterns only the mollusk can interpret.
Translated in the morning, imperfectly,
like a dream.
Carrie Naughton is a freelance bookkeeper who writes speculative fiction, nature essays, and poetry. Her work can be read at Strange Horizons, Zoomorphic, and Crab Creek Review. Her website is carrienaughton.com, and she writes an eclectic newsletter at CarrieThis.substack.com.
for Omar Villasana
In the cathedral at Cuernavaca, fish
Wait below the blue surface, teeth bared.
A ship filled with samurai cruises above them,
Each armed with machete or halberd--
Conquistador samurai—while captured missionaries
Follow in another boat.
Beyond the wooden
Doors, afternoon turns the courtyard white.
Vendors sell flowers, hats, toys,
And across the narrow street, that’s us talking
In the shade, drinking cold beer,
Waiting for evening.
Bought a place here for his mistress. Bought
May be too polite a word for it. The house was,
As they say, a forced sale. It came complete with
Gardens, cool in summer, mild in winter.
They didn’t enjoy it for long.
In the cathedral at
Cuernavaca, on the stone above the heavy
Wooden door, fish with sharp teeth
Wait below the blue surface
Of the sea. The boat filled with samurai
Author's note: "The work that prompted the poem is the fresco in the cathedral at Cuernavaca of the captured Franciscan missionaries, including Felipe de Jesús, being taken by their samurai captors to their trial and crucifixion. They move over the surface of blue water containing some really nasty looking fish with teeth. This part of the fresco is above the door, and the water is painted on the underside of the entrance. The 17th century fresco was uncovered during a renovation of the cathedral. It had been completely forgotten."
George Franklin is the author of four books, Noise of the World (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions), Traveling for No Good Reason (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions), Among the Ruins / Entre las ruinas (Katakana Editores), and Travels of the Angel of Sorrow (Blue Cedar Press). He is also the co-translator, along with the author, of Ximena Gómez's Último día/Last Day (Katakana Editores). More information can be found at https://gsfranklin.com/.
Pablo Picasso’s Guernica
The village’s been here,
here where we’re standing
by the Urdaibai estuary
inscribed in the sand of skulls
Octavio Vázquez's Piano trio no.1, "Gernika”
a violinist, the cellist
they play and there’s
the church bell that rings
during the Spanish Civil War
it’s market day, in the main square
where many people die
when the bombs start to fall
a mural-sized oil painting
in black, grey, and white
come see a horse, and a bull
the wailing women,
the dead child.
This poem first appeared in Lantern Magazine.
Read another ekphrastic poem by Ilona, on Georgio Morandi, here. (Scroll down)
Ilona Martonfi is an editor, poet, curator, advocate and activist. Author of four poetry books, the most recent collection is Salt Bride (Inanna, 2019). Forthcoming, The Tempest (Inanna, 2022). Writes in journals, anthologies, and seven chapbooks. Her poem “Dachau on a Rainy Day” was nominated for the 2018 Pushcart Prize. Artistic director of Visual Arts Centre Reading Series and Argo Bookshop Reading Series. QWF 2010 Community Award.
Foxfire in the marsh leads viewers further
within, deeper into mires of mixed illusion,
to the texture of coats applied layer upon layer.
Fairy lights float through bright tangle, tempting
me to follow those flames through impossible koan:
"What is your original face before you were born?"
Faux-fire, fool’s ghost among darkening shades--
how I wish I could meet you on that other side
beyond saturated green in gathering tints of paint --
Turner’s red daub lighting your masterful flourish.
Editor's note: The painting is by the poet's father.
Penn Kemp has participated in Canadian cultural life for over 50 years, writing, editing, and publishing poetry and plays. She has published 30 books of poetry, prose and drama and 10 CDs. Penn is the League’s 40th Life Member and Spoken Word Artist (2015). Penn’s new collection, A Near Memoir: new poems (Beliveau Books), launched on Earth Day. See www.pennkemp.wordpress.com and www.pennkemp.weebly.com.
Click here or on image above to find out the winners of our Women Artists ekphrastic writing contest!
I Think I Will Die
splayed out in sepia on a cool sheet
where toes and fingertips barely meet
da Vinci’s square as if they’re made to fit
where overlapped corners overreach rim
of transparent circle revised by him
to hold my four arms and four legs in
Vishnu dancing limbs of pose-ability
inked without error though contrarily
by his sure left hand proportionately
the palm measured with the fingers all
counted ear to ear, knee to ankle, clavicle
to crown in this tower of blocks I own
so the children can play with my bones
build bridges, towns, knock them down in
symmetry Vitruvius found astounding
the polymath Leonardo made exquisite
with the sharp point of his compass at
the center of a male body of no renown
by moving it from umbilical knot on down
to crux, apex, root, or a fuss between legs
and sharp angles ending at the felt edge
as by mime confined to imaginary cell
or wingtips and wide skirts by snow-angel
leaving vacant the half-moon overhead gap
so that elbows can bend into perfect wrap
for a square box sized to fit a round skull
whose contents refuse this Vitruvian rule
dying to puncture my shell’s demarcation
to see in such constellations consolation.
Jane McPhetres Johnson
Jane McPhetres Johnson grew up in Colorado and commuted from Wyoming to Vermont’s Goddard College MFA. Her poems have been selected for local journals Straw Dogs, Picaflor Press, and Florence Poets Society, and for national e-journals and collections What Rough Beast, The Coil, and Not My President. In November 2020 she published Maven Reaches Mars: Home Poems and Space Probes in Four Fascicles. Jane lives in Amherst cohousing, is followed by fellow activists near and far on facebook and instagram, and follows her Kansan grandmother, who knew Emily’s poems by heart.
The New Podcast is Up! TERcets by Brian A. Salmons, with Courtney Justus, Anthony DiMatteo, and Sara Eddy
Too many of you have not yet discovered our ekphrastic podcast!
The podcast was the vision of our contributor and Facebook page manager Brian A. Salmons.
This week, Brian features work by Courtney Justus, Anthony DiMatteo, and Sara Eddy.
This time, the poets are reading their own work.
Many thanks to Brian for this amazing production.
Please click on the image above for the current podcast.
Click here to hear them all. You don't want to miss any!
The Ekphrastic Review
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