Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Poetry and Art

A while ago, Rachael Boast, who was my tutor at The Poetry School for a couple of terms, invited me to contribute to a volume of ekphrastic poems responding to works of art displayed publicly in Bristol. After a very pleasant day wandering around the Bristol Art Gallery and other art spaces in the city, the image that stayed with me the most was Karl Weschke's picture of 'Leda'.

I almost immediately realised that this was a bad idea, given the long history of depictions of Leda in all kinds of media, and the obvious reference point of Yeats' famous poem. Nevertheless, Weschke's depiction of Leda not as victim, but as bearing down upon the enigmatic swan, suggested a whole other story, a re-writing of the myth. And a deeply unsettling re-writing at that.

I hope that the poem I've produced, with much support from Rachael, is up to the challenge of engaging with this powerful image. For anyone interested in hearing it, I will be taking part in an event in Bristol on 21 August, where the main reader will be T.S. Eliot prize-winner Phlip Gross.His performance will be worth the meagre £2 entry fee alone. Please do e-mail the organiser to reserve a place.

Poetry and Art in Bristol

First floor study room, 43 Woodland Rd (The Old Baptist College)
Tuesday 21st August

This event arises from a unique year-long project to gather poems inspired by artworks in Bristol.
There will be a discussion between the poet Philip Gross and the sculptor Simon Thomas about their
respective pieces entitled ‘SmallWorlds’. There will also be readings and contributions by Ralph Pite,
Edson Burton, Jane Griffiths and many other poets and visual artists.
Wine reception afterwards.
Entry is £2 (payable on the door) but places are limited to 60.
email: to reserve a ticket.

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