Upcoming Events: “Found Narratives” at the Mass Poetry Fest

"Waltzers" by Joseph Wheelwright, on view at the Peabody Essex Museum through September 2015.
Does this inspire you? “Waltzers” by Joseph Wheelwright, on view at the Peabody Essex Museum through September 2015. Check out this and other pieces during “Found Narratives” with Meg at the MassPoetry Festival in May. Photo by Meg Winikates.

It’s hard to believe when there are six-foot snow piles out the window, but spring will be here eventually, and with it comes the Massachusetts Poetry Festival!  I’ve attended the festival for several years (find my reactions and updates from the 2014 festival here), and this year am excited to announce that I (Meg) will be leading an ekphrastic workshop at the Peabody Essex Museum, for poetry and art lovers of all levels of skill and experience.

Inspired by the Palettes of Light project and using artworks from the Art & Nature Center’s show Branching Out as well as the story-telling photography of Duane Michals, I’ll be talking about the things curators and poets have in common, and providing writing prompts and exercises for participants.

Program description: Artworks speak to poets–but do these works speak to each other as well?  How does the proximity of one work to another inspire new ideas and connections that one piece alone does not?  In this workshop, we will explore unusual pairings in current exhibitions at the Peabody Essex Museum and discuss the ways curators, like poets, use juxtaposition to evoke surprise and curiosity.  We will also practice close-looking strategies which then inform our poetry writing practice.  Writers and art-lovers of all levels of experience welcome: just bring your eyes and your imagination, (and possibly your favorite writing implement), we’ll provide the rest!

The festival organizers haven’t released the weekend’s final schedule yet, but when they do we’ll update with specific times and places.  The festival buttons to attend the whole weekend’s events are extremely low-priced for the sheer volume of programming available, and the headlining poets look like a great line-up.  The festival buttons also get you in to see the Peabody Essex Museum free for those days, which is a bonus. Hope to see you there!

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