Taking cues from ekphrastic poems that respond to personal or public photographs, or to online videos, poems like the following...
Children Walk on Chairs to Cross a Flooded Schoolyard - Patrick Rosal
The 8th of May: A Vow Made for the 7th of May - Daniel Nathan Terry
Old Photographs - Gabeda Baderoon
...or like these which respond to the same famous photograph...
War Photograph - Kate Daniels
The Uncropped Photograph--Nick Ut's Vietnam, June 8, 1972 - Gary Dop
...browse your favorite archive for an image to use as a spark.
Perhaps an image in one of these online archives might intrigue you:
American Memory: Photograph Collections - LoC
Calisphere - U of California
LIFE Photo Archive - Google
National Archives Photo Collections
National Museum of African American History and Culture
New York Digital Library: Photography Collections - NYPL
Virginia Memory - LVA
And if that makes you hungry for more art to engage with, check out Rattle's monthly ekphrastic challenge.
In honor of the victims killed at Pulse, writers David Lopez and Luis Lopez-Maldonado created The Brillantina Project because, in their words, "Amidst the darkness we seek the light and hope our words will heal…even if it’s only for the moment." I'm honored that they accepted two of my poems for inclusion, publishing "Weeks before the First Anniversary of Marriage Equality" this past Tuesday.
Similarly, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, published a special issue this month entitled Pulsamos: LGBTQ Poets Respond to the Pulse Nightclub Shooting.
Check out both of these special projects!
For anyone who shares my interest in documentary poetry, I especially recommend Li Yun Alvarado's "Pulse Puertorriqueño: An Elegy in Collage" on The Brillantina Project for both its form and its emotional impact.
I'll be teaching a Documentary Poetry class at VisArts from 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. on Tuesdays this fall (Sep. 13 - Oct. 18). Online registration is open and the print catalogs come out tomorrow.
Please share the course info with anyone you know who might be interested!
Description: There’s an alchemy that can happen when research and poetry meet. Perhaps you have felt the pull to write poetry inspired by family letters, an ancestor’s journal, or documents connected to someone you admire – or even to a current event that fascinates or troubles you. Even if you don’t have a specific source in mind, this class is the perfect place to learn about the wide range of documentary poetics. Students will write and share their work in a format designed to provide each writer with specific, constructive feedback in a safe and welcoming environment.
Wendy - poet-librarian, teacher, writing mentor. Read more on about.
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