There is an amazing moment in Book 18 of the Iliad where Homer stops talking about war and begins, in great detail and great emotional depth, to describe the shield of Achilles. Many point to that moment as the first example of ekphrasis—the practice of writing poetry about art. Few poetic endeavors have proven more durable (and more enjoyable) than ekphrasis, and in recent years, ekphrastic poetry has branched into exciting new territory. This seminar, with a generative writing component, will look closely at several different forms of ekphrastic poetry and will give participants a chance to write their own ekphrastic poems. We will read and discuss works by William Carlos Williams, Jorie Graham, Robin Coste Lewis, Louise Erdrich, Rainer Maria Rilke, Monica Youn, Victoria Chang, Terrance Hayes, and others.
This is an online seminar. Sessions will be held via Zoom.
Dean Rader has authored or co-edited twelve books, including the poetry collection Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry and Works & Days, which won the T. S. Eliot Prize. Before the Borderless: Dialogues with the Art of Cy Twombly, appeared in 2023 from Copper Canyon. He is a professor at the University of San Francisco and a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry.