I had a fabulous time at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival last weekend, and the writers who participated in the “Found Narratives” workshop were great! If you’d like to try the writing exercise for yourself, head on over to my blog, Sea Dreams and Time Machines to read the workshop recap, see slides, and get the writing prompt.
Registration is now open for the Mass Poetry Festival, including the workshop inspired by Palettes of Light, “Found Narratives” with Meg on Sunday, May 3 from 11:30am – 12:30pm! Check out the session description here, purchase a button, and sign up to attend soon: spaces are limited, especially for workshop sessions.
We’ll be meeting in the Peabody Essex Museum and taking advantage of two fabulous exhibitions, Branching Out, Trees as Art, and Storyteller: The Photographs of Duane Michals. Practice your close-looking, discuss the ties between curation and poetry writing, and flex your writing muscles in one of the most inspiring spots in Salem, MA.
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!
I’m fortunate that my day job (as a museum educator) allows me to be creative on a regular basis, in addition to my writing career and artistic hobbies. Occasionally, the two even intersect in a fun way, such as when I recently got to write a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ style gallery guide for kids and adults to explore the Peabody Essex Museum’s maritime collection, or in a few weeks at the annual local museum conference.
Palettes of Light will be ‘popping up’ at the New England Museum Association’s pre-conference event this November in Cambridge, MA. NEMA is hosting a ‘Pop-Up Museum.’ Pop-up museums are defined as ‘an exhibit created by the people who attend the event, on a particular theme, for a limited period of time.’ This event’s theme invites museum professionals to exhibit what they create outside of work. I’m looking forward to providing my addition: sample images and poems from the project, and am especially looking forward to seeing what other creative endeavors are presented by friends and colleagues.