The Bridge Poetry Series highlights an esteemed literary tradition: poetry inspired by art. This series establishes a unique opportunity for Wisconsin poets to write and read ekphrastic poems. In the second century AD, ekphrasis (description) was a rhetorical exercise of creating mental images with words, and it frequently began with a description of artworks.
Madison poets Katrin Talbot, Sara Parrell, Susan Elbe, and Jesse Lee Kercheval launched the Bridge Poetry Series in collaboration with the Chazen Museum of Art. This series creates a venue for poetry in Madison which highlights ekphrastic poetry, or poetry about works of art. This reading is part of a semi-annual program of poetry about art. Twice yearly, about a dozen Wisconsin poets are invited to write poems inspired by works in one of the museum’s temporary exhibitions, directly linking art and poetry.
For the Bridge Poetry Series reading on April 7, 2016, poets wrote in response to Art Department Faculty Quadrennial Exhibition 2016. Their poems are published here. Enjoy.
Origin Unknown, Bridget Birdsall
Of The Gallery, August Jirovec
The Bearing of His Body, Dana Maya
Point of Order, Richard Merelman
After Faisal Abdu’Allah’s The Count, 2015, Thiahera LeSian Nurse
In Which A Group of Black People Sit at a Dinner Table and Do Not Die, Thiahera LeSian Nurse
Progenitor, Katrin Talbot
Accountable, Katrin Talbot
When All Around Us Sky and One Perpetual Flame, Angela Voras-Hills
Lines, Molly Wesling