All Things Ekphrastic

Claudia Sperry










In recent weeks, we read Rainer Maria Rilke’s ekphrastic poem, “Archaic Torso of Apollo” & visited Claudia Sperry’s painting studio. Continuing in the tradition of ekphrasis (check out for more info about this tradition), walk through the rooms of your home, noticing any photographs, prints, paintings, wall hangings, postcards, pottery, sculpture, children’s art, stained glass ornaments & etc. Choose one image/object for your writing prompt. You may want to:
1) speak to the image/object
2) allow the image/object to speak
3) write about the history of this image/object—an actual or imagined history of its “birth”
4) write about how this image/object came into your life & your life at the time it did
5) write about various & even contradictory associations you have with this image/object—perhaps associations you have from different points in your life. 
Grab your notebook (& a timer, if you like) & “spill” for 10 minutes (you may want to read “Spill Theory” if you haven’t already).
Read what you wrote out loud, just as we do in workshop, when reading for each other.
Reset your timer & write for 20 minutes:
1) continuing where you left off
2) switching to another one of the above options
3) switching back & forth between #1 & #2, creating a dialogue between the image/object & yourself.
As always, there are no rules—only possibilities! Enjoy…

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