We are delighted to feature longtime Ekphrastic contributor and family member Lynne Kemen as a guest judge for the current challenge! Thank you so much, Lynne.
To Our Readers,
Welcome to another ekphrastic challenge. I was thrilled when Lorette asked me to submit a piece of art and be a guest editor. I have been writing ekphrastic poems and flash fiction since spring of 2019. Since then, I have published many ekphrastic poems and a piece of flash fiction.
Many of you have met me during ekphrastic workshops created by Lorette. I have taken nearly all of them since 2020! My version of how to write an ekphrastic piece has no rules- I look at the art and sometimes write from the point of view of a figure in the art. And sometimes, I write mood or descriptive responses.
What I love about these exercises is that several writers can look at the same art and write very differently. When I write my own pieces, I create them so that the reader can understand the art without a photo. The main point is to have fun!
Steff Rocknak created this sculpture in 2014. It’s entitled Poe Returns to Boston. I hope that you enjoy writing about it.
(Scroll down for bios for Lynne and Steff.)
Join us for biweekly ekphrastic writing challenges. See why so many writers are hooked on ekphrasis! We feature some of the most accomplished, influential writers working today, and we also welcome emerging or first time writers and those who simply want to experience art in a deeper way or try something creative.
The prompt this time is Poe Returns to Boston, by Steff Rocknak. Deadline is January 20, 2023.
You can submit poetry, creative nonfiction, flash fiction, microfiction, or any other form creative writing you like. 1000 words max please.
1. Use this visual art prompt as a springboard for your writing. It can be a poem or short prose (fiction or nonfiction.) You can research the artwork or artist and use your discoveries to fuel your writing, or you can let the image alone provoke your imagination.
2. Write as many poems and stories as you like. Send only your best works or final draft, not everything you wrote down. (Please note, experimental formats are difficult to publish online. We will consider them but they present technical difficulties with web software that may not be easily resolved.) Please copy and paste your submission into the body of the email, even if you include an attachment such as Word or PDF.
3. There is no mandatory submission fee, but we ask you to consider a voluntary donation to show your support to the time, management, maintenance, and promotion of The Ekphrastic Review. It takes an incredible amount of time to curate the journal, read regular and contest submissions, etc. Paying all expenses out of pocket is also prohibitive. Thank you. A voluntary gift does not affect the selection process in any way.
4. USE THIS EMAIL ONLY.
Send your work to firstname.lastname@example.org. Challenge submissions sent to the other inboxes will most likely be lost as those are read in chronological order of receipt, weeks or longer behind, and are not seen at all by guest editors. They will be discarded. Sorry.
5.Include ROCKNAK CHALLENGE in the subject line.
6. Include your name and a brief bio. If you do not include your bio, it will not be included with your work, if accepted. Even if you have already written for The Ekphrastic Review or submitted other works and your bio is "on file" you must include it in your challenge submission. Do not send it after acceptance or later; it will not be added to your piece. Guest editors may not be familiar with your bio or have access to archives. We are sorry about these technicalities, but have found that following up, requesting, adding, and changing later takes too much time and is very confusing.
7. Late submissions will be discarded. Sorry.
8. Deadline is midnight EST, January 20, 2023.
9. Please do not send revisions, corrections, or changes to your poetry or your biography after the fact. If it's not ready yet, hang on to it until it is.
10. Selected submissions will be published together, with the prompt, one week after the deadline.
11. Due to the demands of the increasing volume of submissions, we do not send out sorry notices or yes letters. You will see what poetry and stories have been selected when the responses are posted one week after the deadline. Understand that we value your participation as part of our ekphrastic community, but we can only choose a handful of the many entries we receive.
12. A word on the selection process: we strive for a balance between rewarding regular participants and sharing the voices of writers who are new to our family. We also look for a variety of perspectives and styles, and a range of interesting takes on the painting. It is difficult to reproduce experimental formatting, so unfortunately we won't choose many with unusual spacing or typography.
13. By submitting to The Ekphrastic Review, you are also automatically joining our subscribers' list. Your submission is your permission. We don't send Spam and we don't send many emails- you will not receive forty-four emails a day! Our newsletter occasionally updates you on some of the challenges, news, contests, prize nominations, ekphrastic happenings, prompt ebooks, workshops, and more.
14. Rinse and repeat with upcoming ekphrastic writing challenges!
15. Please share this prompt with your writing groups, Facebook groups, social media circles, and anywhere else you can. The simple act of sharing brings readers to The Ekphrastic Review, and that is the best way to support the poets and writers on our pages!
16. Check this space every Friday for new challenges and selected responses, alternating weekly.
Lynne Kemen lives in upstate New York. Her chapbook, More Than A Handful, was published in 2020. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in La Presa, Silver Birch Press, The Ravens Perch, Fresh Words Magazine, Topical Poetry, The Ekphrastic Review, and The Blue Mountain Review. She is an editor for The Blue Mountain Review and The Southern Collective Experience, both in Atlanta, Georgia. She is on the Board of Bright Hill Press in Treadwell, New York. She has a poetry book that will be published by SCE in fall 2023.
Venues for Steff Rocknak's work have included The Smithsonian, The Grolier Club, The Tampa Museum of Art (Tampa, FL) and the windows of Saks 5th Ave in New York City. In 2011, she sculpted a model for Robert Morris, which was digitally enlarged to 9-feet tall, cast in bronze and permanently installed in The Gori Collection, Fattoria di Celle, Pistoia, Italy. The following year, she was selected from a pool of 265 artists to create a bronze statue of Edgar Allan Poe in the city of his birth, Boston. This sculpture was permanently installed in 2014. In 2018 she was selected as one of five finalists for the National Native American Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, and she won the 2019 Alex J. Ettl Grant, awarded by the National Sculpture Society. Her work has received multiple awards and has been featured in over 200 books, magazines, newspapers and blogs, including The New York Times (cover), The Boston Globe (cover), The Huffington Post, The Paris Review, The NY Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, and Juxtapoz. Rocknak is a self-taught sculptor.